Business

Erik Gibbs

Wells Fargo denies customers access to crypto

More than a year ago, Wells Fargo decided that its credit cards shouldn’t be used to purchase cryptocurrency. Now, it appears that even trying to use a Wells Fargo-issued debit card to make purchases is against the rules. Apparently, the company feels that it needs to try to protect its customers from themselves, or it just prefers to have more funds available to conduct its own scams.

A Twitter user, “Litecoin Moses {No XRP},” reached out to the Twitter community looking for help with a recent purchase attempt. He tweeted, “Something fishy is going on with my bank Wells Fargo… I cant [sic] buy crypto on cash app or coinbase… I tried to attach my debit card and it said “Card not found” and I just used it to pay my bills.”

A representative from Wells Fargo, Josh, using the Ask Wells Fargo Twitter account replied, “Thanks for reaching out to us. Unfortunately, Wells Fargo does not allow transactions involving cryptocurrency. –Josh.”

Given that crypto exchanges and purchasing platforms are operating with legal oversight and many have received the requisite approvals to offer their services, preventing someone from using his or her money to make a purchase should not be allowed. The majority of the thread’s participants agree, with many suggesting that it’s time to close Wells Fargo accounts.

Wells Fargo doesn’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to its customers and it certainly doesn’t have the background to suddenly decide to protect its users. The company was fined $185 million in 2016 after it was found to have created 1.5 million fake deposit accounts, as well as issue over 500,000 fake credit cards, in customers’ names and without permission. That same year, it was also found to have been illegally repossessing cars owned by military service members.

The following year, it was revealed that the 1.5 million number relating to fake accounts was wrong—it was actually 3.5 million. Also in 2017, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) determined that the company had “violations across multiple lines of business within the bank” and “significant harm to customers” with regards to regulations related to lending opportunities in lower-income areas.

That same year, a lawsuit was submitted against the banking giant for overcharging credit card services to small businesses. That lawsuit is still ongoing.

Continuing to show its lack of moral compass (the same compass that reportedly convinces the company to prevent crypto purchases), the bank was forced by the Federal Reserve last year to limit its growth because of the number of complaints it had received and its lack of compliance with regulations. Sacramento, California launched a suit, which is still in process, against the company for suppressing property values in “minority and low-income communities.”

If that weren’t enough, the list continues—a $1-billion settlement in 2018 over fraudulent charges related to insurance and mortgage practices, allegations of manipulation of personal data such as Social Security numbers and dates of birth, $480 million in fines for securities fraud and $4 million in fines for violations of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations.

On top of this, millions of dollars in restitution for illegal charges and $2.1 billion in fines over allegations related to mortgages from the housing bubble. In spite of all this, the company believes it has the right to prevent its customers from using their own money to make purchases that are protected by law.

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