The former CEO of Wells Fargo, who presided over the bank while it opened millions of potentially fake accounts, can never work for a bank again and must pay a $17.5 million fine for his role in the scandal.
John Stumpf, who was ousted as CEO in October 2016, agreed to the resolution in a federal case brought by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. He had initially defended himself before a Congressional committee, telling the panel in September 2016 that "there was no orchestrated effort or scheme" to "provide products and services to customers they did not want or need."
The OCC also announced charges against five other former senior executives of Wells Fargo and announced settlements with two others in a sweeping case covering alleged misconduct from the early 2000s through October 2016.
Wells Fargo representatives did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment Thursday.
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The case – laid out in detail in a 100-page notice of charges – reflects the latest development in a scandal that exposed what the OCC called a "systemic sales practices misconduct problem."
The OCC alleged senior leaders knew or "should have" known about the issues. From December 2013 to September 2015, the bank received 5,000 customer complaints that the bank had opened accounts without their consent. The bank also transferred customer funds between accounts without their approval, misled customers about its products, enrolled people in online banking without their sign-off and falsified customer information, according to the OCC.
Much of the activity occurred because employees faced "unreasonable pressure" to achieve sales goals, leading to widespread instances of unethical and illegal behavior, the OCC alleged Thursday in legal documents.
Stumpf, the agency said, "was frequently informed by leaders" of the company's Community Bank division of the behavior but was told it was isolated and not systemic. He notably did not hold the head of the Community Bank division, Carrie Tolstedt, accountable and failed to take other actions "to prevent the Bank from recklessly engaging in unsafe or unsound practices," the OCC alleged.
Stumpf earlier already agreed to relinquish about $70 million in compensation, including stock awards, because of the scandal.
The OCC acquired scores of internal documents, including emails, that illustrate the intensity of the pressure Wells Fargo placed on sales employees to meet internal targets.
"This is sad and hard for me to say, but I had less stress in the 1991 Gulf War than working for Wells Fargo," one employee wrote to the CEO's office and a senior leader in the Community Bank in 2013, according to the OCC.
Tolstedt, who was charged with violating numerous laws, is accused of being "directly and significantly responsible for the Community Bank's business model that incentivized systemic sales practices misconduct over a decade." She "knew" that the bank incentivized illegal activity, the OCC alleged.
The agency is pursuing a $25 million civil fine and a prohibition order barring her from working for a bank or similar financial institution again.
"I cant [sic] sleep at night or look in the mirror," one employee wrote to Tolstedt in 2013, complaining about the sales environment. "Too much pressure, feels like we have to treat team members poorly or walk a very grey line to meet expectations.”
Others charged were: Claudia Ross Anderson, Community Bank group risk officer; James Strother, general counsel; David Julian, chief auditor; Paul McLinko, executive audit director.
The OCC is seeking a prohibition order against Anderson and a $5 million fine. It's seeking a $5 million fine for Strother, $2 million for Julian and $500,000 for McLinko, as well as a "personal cease and desist order" against all three, which would require them to take steps to ensure they won't engage in similarly unethical behavior before they can reenter the banking industry.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Wells Fargo ex-CEO John Stumpf banned from banking, fined $17.5M