Wells Fargo branch

Stan Bunger/KCBS Radio

Wells Fargo Internet Breakdown

Problem Affects Customers Coast to Coast

KCBS Radio Morning News
February 07, 2019 - 6:31 am
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS Radio) -- (Updated 10:32 AM PST)  A widespread access issue prevented Wells Fargo Bank customers from logging into their accounts on Thursday morning. The problem affected customers using web browsers as well as the Wells Fargo mobile app. 

Wells Fargo app screen capture
The website DownDetector.com showed reports of Wells Fargo access issues spreading across the entire continental US. KCBS Radio received a report from a Wells Fargo customer in Hawaii confirming the problem extended there as well.

Some customers reported the problem was restricting access to Wells Fargo's network of ATM's, although one customer told KCBS Radio reporter Matt Bigler he was able to access his account via a Geary Boulevard ATM.

Wells Fargo tweeted a brief statement early Thursday morning: "We apologize to our customers who may be experiencing an issue with our online banking and mobile app.  Thanks for your patience while we research this issue.  If you are impacted, please check back here for updates."

A television station in Montana reported the outage was related to a fire at a Wells Fargo srver farm in the Minneapolis suburb of Shoreview, MN.  The chief of the Lake Johana Fire District, which serves Shoreview, told KCBS Radio there was no fire, but there was an accidental activation of a Halon fire-suppression system at the Wells Fargo facility.

Chief  Tim Boehlke said the presence of construction dust apparently triggered the Halon system, commonly used in server farms where the use of water-based sprinkler systems would damage sensitive equipment. At 9:40 AM PST, Chief Boehlke said the fire-suppression system was being recharged but he could give no estimate as to when it would be back online.

About twenty minutes later, Wells Fargo issued a statement which read in part: "We’re experiencing system issues due to a power shutdown at one of our facilities, initiated after smoke was detected following routine maintenance. We’re working to restore services as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience."

For many customers, the outage left them in the dark about their account status.

Wells Fargo, headquartered in San Francisco, is among the nation's largest banks. It has more than 8,600 locations and a network of more than 13,000 ATM's.

For some customers, the Thursday outage evoked a sense of deja vu, as Wells Fargo experienced similar issues a week ago.