December 6, 2023

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Ex Wells Fargo CEO Barred From Banking

John Stumpf, the former head of Wells Fargo who presided over the bank’s cross-selling scandal, has been barred from ever working for a bank, federal officials announced on Thursday.

“The actions announced by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency today reinforce the agency’s expectations that management and employees of national banks and federal savings associations provide fair access to financial services, treat customers fairly, and comply with applicable laws and regulations,” Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting said in a statement.

Dear Colleagues,

Today the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced a series of actions against former employees regarding their behavior around the historical Community Banking sales practices. In addition, the OCC provided a detailed account of business practices and management responses based on its extensive investigation.

The OCC’s actions are consistent with my belief that we should hold ourselves and individuals accountable. They also are consistent with our belief that significant parts of the operating model of our Community Bank were flawed. At the time of the sales practices issues, the Company did not have in place the appropriate people, structure, processes, controls, or culture to prevent the inappropriate conduct.

This was inexcusable. Our customers and you all deserved more from the leadership of this Company.

We are reviewing today’s filings and will determine what, if any, further action by the Company is appropriate with respect to any of the named individuals. Wells Fargo will not make any remaining compensation payments that may be owed to these individuals while we review the filings.

Over the past three years, the Company has made fundamental changes to its business model, compensation programs, leadership, and governance. We are committing all necessary resources to ensure that we operate with the strongest business practices and controls, maintain the highest level of integrity, and have in place the appropriate culture. The Company is different today, but we know we still have significant work to do to regain the trust of all stakeholders.

I know these things that have occurred in the past have made many of your jobs more difficult.

We must all dedicate ourselves to ensuring that such failings never again occur at Wells Fargo.

Some of the OCC’s findings also contradict Wells Fargo’s 2017 board report into the scandal, and is likely to spark further questions by lawmakers and regulators about the bank’s efforts to fix its cultural problems. That report largely pinned the blame on a small number of executives, in particular the bank’s former retail banking head Carrie Tolstedt, but on Thursday the OCC said many members of the bank’s senior leadership were culpable.

Stumpf agreed to pay $17.5 million to settle the charges, while former human resources head Hope Hardison and Michael Loughlin, former chief risk officer, settled for $2.25 million and $1.25 million, respectively, the OCC said.

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