Wells Fargo Denies Bonuses in Account Probe after Firing Managers

The bank Wells Fargo & Co. recently fired their head of business of consumer credit cards and three more senior managers as the board of the bank examines how bad sales practices have spread through their branches before they spiraled into the national scandal that happened last year.

Even Shelley Freeman, who was the former LA regional president and was in charge of consumer credit solutions, was terminated. Others who got booted were the lead regional president of Arizona, Pam Conboy, and Claudia Russ Anderson, the former community bank risk chief, and community bank initiatives and bank strategy leader Matthey Raphaelson. These moves were announced by the bank on Tuesday in a statement saying that the booted four won’t be getting any bonuses for the year 2016 and they will also forfeit all outstanding options and unvested equity awards.

Leaders at Wells Fargo have been working to assuage the public furor since September after the authorities posed a fine on the bank for $185 million for opening about 2 million bank accounts in retail without getting them approved from the customer. The management and the board are conducting reviews to see how this happened and vowing that they would hold all the responsible managers accountable for it. The company also fired more than 5300 low level employees in the recent years.

Managers were contacted, but they declined to comment or didn’t respond to the message seeking comment from them.

Former employees said that after overseeing operations in LA, Freeman went to run the Florida office where she sent bulk emails to the branch works asking them to sell and show them the lifestyle they could achieve. She even mentioned her tickets to Super Bowl and pair of sunglasses costing $800, one of the ex-managers recalled. Conboy who had climbed the ranks in California used to be sent to different regions to teach strategies for sale according to what the managers said.

Russ Anderson was on a six month unpaid leave that started in September, according to the bank.

They didn’t specify what prompted the booting of these four managers as the authorities still haven’t accused them of any kind of wrongdoing.

There was a unanimous vote in the board of Wells Fargo to terminate the four managers and the investigation for this is expected to finish before the annual meeting of the shareholders in April. The panel will also discuss the things that would be made public and may release some information and findings on the four managers.

The company spokesman, Oscar Suris had declined to comment on these talks as they are confidential. He also declined to comment on whether the bank may end up terminating more managers due to this scandal.

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