Wells Fargo drops sales goals tied to bogus account scandal
NEW YORK — Wells Fargo will stop setting the sales goals that bank employees say led to pressure to open millions of fake customer accounts.
The embattled bank says the change, announced early Tuesday, will be effective Jan. 1.
“We are eliminating product sales goals because we want to make certain our customers have full confidence that our retail bankers are always focused on the best interests of customers,” CEO John Stumpf said in a statement.
The bank last week agreed to pay a $185 million fine and refund $5 million in fees wrongly charged to customers. It also fired 5,300 employees who had opened false accounts to meet the sales goals.
Employees have told CNNMoney they were under pressure to meet unrealistic goals or lose their jobs.
Stumpf’s statement made no direct mention of the more than 2 million bogus accounts revealed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last week. The statement said only that the bank in recent years has “significantly strengthened our training programs, controls and oversight.”
“We believe this decision is both good for our customers and good for our business,” Stumpf said.
Senate Democrats want Stumpf to testify before Congress about the scandal, which Senator Elizabeth Warren has called a “staggering fraud.”
Shares of Wells Fargo were down about 1% in premarket trading following the announcement. But the stock has held up relatively well since the announcement of the fine and firings Thursday, losing only 2.7% in two days of trading.