Wells Fargo is a multiple offender. Therefore, it came as no surprise to anyone that they lost their court challenge against having to pay a fine for excessive overdraft fees they imposed on their customers.

A California judge determined that they have to pay back $203 million in what the judge determined was a tricky “bookkeeping device” that allowed them to multiply the number of times Wells Fargo could hit its consumers for a fee, even if there was only one breach such as a single overdraft. The judge concluded that sometimes Wells was hitting customers for as many as 10 times for one oversight; that’s just not right.

And what does Wells Fargo do? They’ve stated that they’re going to appeal the case, even though, in my opinion, they’ve gotten off easy because the fees they overcharged consumers was determined to be more than $1.7 billion. In essence, they didn’t even get hit with 20% of what’s now deemed criminal action against its customers and they’re whining that the judge got it wrong. We heard this same type of thing when they were accused of improper handling of minority mortgages.

Although I understand Wells Fargo figuring that they have to try to protect their reputation, I’m mystified that they’re trying to insult the intelligence of the American public and wasting the money of their depositors on something that everyone knows they did. They’re not alone; all large banks have had interesting ways of charging overdraft fees to their customers for years. That’s why there was legislation clamping down on the process in the first place, to protect those of us who every once in awhile calculate our finances incorrectly and thus get hit with a fee. And speaking of which, I hope everyone has gone to their banks and made a decision on how they want the banks to handle their overdraft protection process, as the deadline is near.

This is why I recommend moving your money to local banks you can trust, that will treat you properly, and that might be a bit more stable than these giants, who care more about protecting their reputations than doing right by you, the consumer.

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