Wells Fargo announced Tuesday that it had fired four executives as its board of directors nears completion of its investigations into sham accounts set up by employees to allegedly meet sales quotas.
The four executives come from the megabank’s community banking division. They will not receive 2016 bonuses and will forfeit the stock and stock options they were awarded, Wells Fargo said in a statement.
The firings are the latest effort by the San Francisco bank to move beyond a scandal that led to the departure of longtime chief executive and chairman John G. Stumpf. The bank has been slammed by Congress after admitting that it fired 5,300 employees over five years for setting up accounts customers did not want or know about.
The bank identified the terminated managers as Claudia Russ Anderson, former community bank chief risk officer; Pamela Conboy, Arizona lead regional president; Shelley Freeman, former Los Angeles regional president; and Matthew Raphaelson, head of community bank strategy and initiatives. They could not be immediately reached for comment.
In addition to a probe being led by the bank’s independent board members, Wells Fargo is being investigated by several regulators. Federal prosecutors are considering criminal or civil charges against the company; the Labor Department is probing whether the bank illegally fired employees who reported the wrongdoing; and several cities and states have withdrawn their business. The House Financial Services Committee is also reviewing thousands of pages of documents turned over by the bank.
— Renae Merle
The parent company of Burger King and Tim Hortons is buying Popeyes for $1.8 billion, with plans to accelerate the growth of the fried-chicken chain.
Such a move fits Restaurant Brands International’s strategy of taking over well-known fast-food chains that it thinks have the potential for wider expansion. While Popeyes has a presence in almost every state, its locations are concentrated in the eastern half of the country.
Josh Kobza, Restaurant Brands’ chief financial officer, said Tuesday that the company plans to speed up Popeyes’ expansion, as it has done with Burger King.
The deal gives shareholders of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen $79 per share, a 19 percent premium from its closing price Friday.
— Associated Press
● American and United airlines have started offering cheaper “basic economy” fares as they battle discount airlines for the most budget-conscious travelers. American announced early Tuesday that it began offering the fares for flights starting March 1 on 10 routes from its hub airports in Dallas, Miami, Philadelphia and Charlotte. United said it is selling cut-rate tickets on some flights from Minneapolis to seven of its hub cities, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
● PepsiCo will tweak the labels for some Naked juices and smoothies to make clearer what ingredients they contain. The changes should start appearing in about eight months, said Maia Kats, director of litigation for the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The label for Naked’s “Kale Blazer,” for instance, will now picture an orange and apple instead of just leafy greens. The CSPI had sued PepsiCo, saying the labels were misleading because the imagery did not properly reflect the main ingredients.
● United Parcel Service said Tuesday that a drone launched from a specially outfitted truck made a delivery and returned to the truck during a test this week in Florida. UPS has tested drones for emergency deliveries such as medicine. In the latest test, the drone made one delivery while the driver made another in the truck. Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president of engineering, said the test has implications for service in rural areas where deliveries are far apart and costly.
● A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday upheld a dismissal of hedge funds’ claims against the government for seizing the profits of mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac following their taxpayer bailout. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said a lower court had correctly barred claims that the government overstepped its authority in 2012 by halting dividend payouts to various shareholders and requiring the companies to pay an amount equal to their quarterly net worth to the U.S. Treasury. Fannie and Freddie investors can still pursue breach-of-contract claims, the appeals court said.
— From news services
● 10 a.m.: National Association of Realtors releases existing-home sales for January.
● 2 p.m.: Federal Reserve releases minutes from its January interest-rate meeting.
● Earnings: Tesla.
— From news services