More Wells Fargo customers may be affected by sales scandal -filing

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By Dan Freed

<span class="articleLocation”>More Wells Fargo & Co customers may have
been affected by a scandal over phony accounts than previously
believed, the third-largest U.S. lender said in a regulatory
filing on Wednesday.

Wells Fargo had previously estimated that up to 2.1 million
customers may have had checking and credit-card accounts opened
in their names without their permission over a period of several

As part of an expanded review there could be “an increase in
the identified number of potentially impacted customers,” Wells

The search for unauthorized accounts now covers a broader
time frame, from 2009 to September 2016. An ongoing analysis of
customer data may also be turning up more affected customers,
according to Wells’ annual 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission.

In a separate filing, the bank said it expects to release
findings of the review ahead of its annual meeting on April 25.

Wells initially disclosed the number of affected customers
as part of a $185 million settlement in September, leading to
multiple government probes, lawsuits and an internal review, and
hurting Wells Fargo’s reputation.

Thousands of employees were fired over customer abuses,
which stemmed from aggressive sales targets implemented by
managers. Wells’ then-CEO John Stumpf abruptly left the bank
because of the scandal.

Wells has been working to repair the damage, in part by
determining whether customers were charged improper fees or had
their credit scores hurt by the phony accounts.

The San Francisco-based lender does not expect that any
additional remediation efforts will have a “significant
financial impact.” However, it said the review could lead to
more legal or regulatory proceedings, reputational damage and
other negative consequences.

Eight senior executives, including Chief Executive Tim Sloan
and Chief Financial Officer John Shrewsberry, are not receiving
cash bonuses for 2016. The bank also dismissed four mid-level
executives as part of the probe.

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