Matthew Castro says he’s sorry about what he did at Wells Fargo & Co., and even sorrier about the people he did it to: Latinos not so different from himself.
Castro, 41, says he is one of the thousands of people Wells Fargo has fired for secretly opening accounts without customers’ consent.
But for Castro, the scandal that has toppled the bank’s longtime leader, John Stumpf, cuts especially deep. He says he and colleagues seized every opportunity to open sham accounts for Latinos, many of them recent immigrants.
“There would be times the client would sit down and leave without even knowing they had these new accounts,” says Castro, whose father came to the U.S. from Colombia. He says he tried to lessen his guilt by doing volunteer work.
As Wells Fargo’s new chief executive officer, Tim Sloan, tries to contain the scandal, Los Angeles authorities, former employees and community activists are raising an uncomfortable question: Did bank employees single out Latinos, particularly those without Social Security numbers or a strong command of English, as they opened legions of unauthorized accounts?
Read the rest of this story at Bloomberg news.