Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Customers Unimpressed with Wells Fargo’s Suspension of Operations

Prominent banking firm Wells Fargo has stated that it experienced a systems outage which resulted to the inability of some customers to access its mobile and online banking services and ATMs but promised to reverse any fees lost due to the disruption. The bank disclosed that the issue had been resolved on Thursday but on Friday customers insisted that they still couldn’t access their accounts and direct deposits.

The bank announced the restoration of its mobile and online services and also that of the ATM on Thursday but admitted that some features were yet to be functional. In a statement issued on Friday, the bank noted:

“some transactions and balances were not visible in online banking or ATMs earlier today,” but included that “the transactions were processed normally.”

“This issue has now been corrected, and all transactions are now visible,” it stated. “We are experiencing higher than normal volumes so there still may be delays in online banking and contact center response times.”

Wells Fargo said that there would be a one-hour extension in the working hours of all its 5,500 branches on Feb 8 – Feb 9. The bank’s CEO, Tim Sloan, expressed regret for the outage, stating that the recovery “was not as rapid as we or our customers would have expected.”

The outage was said to be triggered by “a smoke condition” from the “routine maintenance activities in the building” which led to an automatic power shutdown.

Direct Deposits Not Accounted For

Some customers of Wells Fargo came on Twitter on Friday to express their displeasure about not receiving their direct deposits. Another group of customers complained that they have no access to their accounts. Also, some said their cards were not accepted while using it to pay for purchases and others encountered difficulties while trying to pay their bills.

Tim Knotts, a certified financial planner, was among those who found it difficult to access their accounts. He became concerned when he couldn’t get onto his account because he needed to pay the salaries of his employees via direct deposit on Friday. He wrote the following on Twitter: “I am concerned for my employees.” He continued, “Just tried to log in again, but no luck … for the nation’s 4th largest bank this is unacceptable!”

He later said that he had gained access into his account in the afternoon: “Everything looks good. Payroll hit as planned. Panic subsiding. Now, not sure how long it will last,” he said.

The Financial Stress That Followed

Others reported that the bank’s situation was causing problems for big deals like closing on a home purchase.

“I’ve supposed to sign my mortgage docs tomorrow and my lender can’t ‘access the system’ to generate them. If I can’t close on my house and the seller defaults me then what? U giving me my $45k earnest $ back?” wrote a Twitter user to Wells Fargo.

The outage added to the scandals the bank has faced such as back practices like manipulative sales practices and fake accounts. The scandals which range across 50 states and the District of Columbia attracted a $575 million settlement agreement from Wells Fargo in December to put them to rest.

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