Fire Scare Causes Widespread Outage On Wells Fargo Mobile And Online Banking, ATMs Also Affected

A Wells Fargo stagecoach is seen at the SIBOS banking and financial conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
FILE PHOTO: A Wells Fargo stagecoach is seen at the SIBOS banking and financial conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 19, 2017. (Photo: REUTERS)

The accidental activation of a fire suppression system at a Wells Fargo server farm in Shoreview, Minnesota resulted to the bank's widespread outage that affected mobile and online banking services as well as ATM operations.

According to CNBC News, the fire suppression system was unintentionally activated on Thursday. A nearby fire department responded but there was no smoke or fire detected. However, Wells Fargo tweeted that system issues were caused by "a power shutdown at one of our facilities, initiated after smoke was detected following routine maintenance."

Lake Johanna Fire Department Chief Tim Boehlke told the outlet that the fire scare started around 5 in the morning. Wells Fargo staff called the fire department at 9 a.m. to report the incident.

America's fourth largest bank acknowledged the system issues that customers complained of. The bank said in a statement that it is "working to restore services as soon as possible."

On Thursday, customers who tried to access their online accounts received a message that said the bank had been experiencing technicalities. Wells Fargo has since apologized for the issues that users experienced.

The widespread outage affected many customers although the exact count cannot be determined as of writing. Some of the affected areas are South California and the East Coast region.

Wells Fargo has received a number of complaints over the past years due to its alleged customer service issues. According to ABC News, the bank has been scrutinized for its sales practices, particularly in terms of auto loans and insurance contracts.

The latest outage is the second that customers experienced in the span of one week. Furthermore, some critics have pointed out that the bank has to improve its business standards.

Earlier this month, Wells Fargo released it a business standards report titled "Learning from the past, transforming the future." According to the Winston-Salem Journal, the report is one of the bank's attempts at "rebuilding trust with stakeholders and transforming the company."

In the report, Wells Fargo stressed that the firm is putting the past behind and that it has learned lessons from previous issues that its customer service department suffered in the last few years.

Officials at the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility said that while the report is a significant step forward that will give the prominent bank a chance to clear up its name, there is still a long way to go before Wells Fargo restores its credibility.

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