MILWAUKEE, WI - May 9, 2012
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) issued the following statement today regarding its decision to terminate the employment of Wells Fargo team members due to past criminal matters involving dishonesty or breach of trust:
The decision to terminate team members over criminal matters that occurred prior to their employment with Wells Fargo may seem tough – we recognize that these situations are difficult for everyone involved – but laws and regulations related to the employment of bank employees are designed to protect the interests of all consumers who put their trust in financial service companies.
As an insured depository institution, Wells Fargo is bound by Section 19 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act that prohibits us from hiring or continuing the employment of any person who we know has a criminal record involving dishonesty or breach of trust – regardless of when the incidents occurred. This includes convictions as well as situations where the person has agreed to enter into a pretrial diversion or similar program in connection with a prosecution for such an offense, even if the charges ultimately are dismissed. Wells Fargo has been performing thorough background checks on all its team members – regardless of when they were hired – which includes a fingerprint check with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
We encourage job candidates and team members alike to reveal any past convictions to us at both the time of hire and when rescreenings are conducted. Those who are found to have a disqualifying criminal record have the ability to dispute the accuracy of the information we receive and to otherwise appeal their termination if they believe a mistake has been made. They can also apply to the FDIC for written permission to work at a financial institution despite the existence of the disqualifying conviction.
A financial institution’s violation of Section 19 can result in a fine of up to $1,000,000 per day, imprisonment for up to five years, or both.