The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Wells Fargo fires 4 executives as investigation continues into sham accounts

Wells Fargo fired 5,300 employees for setting up accounts customers didn’t want or know about over five years. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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 low-level employees to allegedly meet sales quotas.

The four executives are current or former senior managers of the megabank’s community banking division. They will not receive their 2016 bonuses and will forfeit the stock and stock options they were awarded, Wells Fargo said in a statement.

The terminations are just the latest effort by the San Francisco-based bank to move beyond a scandal that has already led to the departure of longtime chief executive and chairman John G. Stumpf. The over-100-year-old bank has been battered by lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle for a five-year scheme in which thousands of employees, to meet aggressive sales goals, set up sham accounts that customers didn’t request. Wells Fargo admitted that it fired 5,300 employees for the conduct and has eliminated the aggressive goals that some have said drove the behavior.

But the bank has seen the number of customers signing up for new accounts tumble and it continues to face pressure from lawmakers who say the bank needs to do more to rectify the matter. It is unclear whether the board’s unanimous decision to fire four executives will be enough to quiet Wells Fargo’s critics.

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 an investigation being led by the bank’s independent board members, which is expected to released within the next two months, Wells Fargo is also still being investigated by several regulators. Federal prosecutors are considering criminal or civil charges against the company, the Labor Department is investigating whether it illegally fired employees who reported the wrongdoing, and several cities and states, including California, have stopped doing business with the bank for now. The House Financial Services Committee is also reviewing thousands of pages of documents turned over by Wells Fargo.