NYT Article Describes Bank’s Use Of Arbitration With Customers Complaining About Creation Of Sham Accounts.
Above: Wells, Fargo & Co.'s Express Office, C Street, Virginia City. 1866. Library of Congress.
The NYT, which ran a series of articles in 2015 critical about the spread of arbitration, has published an article dated December 6, 2016, by Michael Corkery and Stacy Cowley entitled, “Wells Fargo Killing Sham Account Suits by Using Arbitration.” The thrust of the article is that Wells Fargo has effectively used arbitration clauses to divert customer lawsuits from the courts to arbitral forums.
It may at first seem surprising that Wells Fargo has been so successful at enforcing arbitration clauses against customers whose complaint is that they didn’t open the accounts in question with Wells Fargo. As explained by the article’s authors, the bank’s counterargument is, “The arbitration clauses included in the legitimate contracts customers signed to open bank accounts also cover disputes related to the false ones set up in their names.”