3 Outrageous Financial Scandals

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Wells Fargo

3 Outrageous Financial Scandals

To celebrate the premiere of A Private Affair, a Dutch drama about a woman decided to change the darkness in the world’s financial system, we have selected three financial scandals that made headlines and caused outrage worldwide.

Wells Fargo

The Wells Fargo account fraud scandal is a controversy brought about by the creation of millions of fraudulent savings and checking accounts on behalf of Wells Fargo clients without their consent. News of the fraud became widely known in late 2016 after various regulatory bodies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), fined the company a combined US 185 million as a result of the illegal activity. The company faces additional civil and criminal suits reaching an estimated $2.7 billion by the end of 2018.

Wells Fargo clients noticed the fraud after being charged unanticipated fees and receiving unexpected credit or debit cards or lines of credit.

HSBC – Currency Exchange Fraud

In July 2016 the United States Department of Justice charged two executives from HSBC Bank over an alleged $3.5 billion currency scheme which defrauded HSBC clients and "manipulated the foreign exchange market to benefit themselves and their bank". Mark Johnson and Stuart Scott, both British citizens were accused. Johnson was arrested late at JFK International Airport in New York City. Stuart Scott, who was HSBC's European head of foreign exchange trading in London until December 2014, was accused of the same crimes and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Mark Johnson was convicted of nine counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to defraud related to front running the currency trades of HSBC clients.

Deutsche Bank – Money Laundering

In 2017, Deutsche Bank was penalized with a total of $630 million by US and UK financial authorities over accusations of having laundered money out of Russia. According to US and British regulators, Deutsche Bank's anti-money laundering controls failed to identify shady trades with a value of up to $10 billion, not knowing who the customers involved in the trades were and where their money came from. These flaws allowed a corrupt group of bank traders and offshore entities to improperly and covertly transfer more than $10 billion out of Russia.

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HSBC – Currency Exchange Fraud

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Deutsche Bank – Money Laundering

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