Wells Fargo fires 4 executives in scandal

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is probing whether the bank illegally fired employees who reported the wrongdoing; and several cities and states have withdrawn their business.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

Burger King’s parent to buy Popeyes

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

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