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Wells Fargo HR department under fire over bank's compensation system: Report

Brittany De Lea

Beleaguered banking giant Wells Fargo may not be implementing enough changes to prevent another incident like the fake account scandal from occurring again, one top watchdog is warning.

Regulators have criticized Wells Fargo’s human resources department over compensation structures that don’t go far enough to discourage those same type of behaviors from occurring, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency reportedly gave the department a list of items to address in July, including pay policies – like implementing practices that don’t encourage wrongdoing and having procedures in place to scale back pay to executives suspected of misbehaviors. It has yet to indicate those issues have been satisfactorily modified.

Additionally, the Journal reported that regulators pointed out the massive backlog of 3,000 employee complaints that have not been addressed.

A spokesperson for Wells Fargo did not return FOX Business' request for comment.

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In 2016, Wells Fargo came under fire for opening millions of accounts for customers, which they did not know of nor request, as employees came under intense pressure to meet sales targets. More than 5,000 employees were fired as a result.

Tim Sloan, who resigned as CEO in March, testified before Congress the same month, after which the OCC issued a statement saying it was “disappointed” with the bank’s inability to execute effective corporate governance.

Wells Fargo was fined $1 billion by the OCC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2018.

About a year ago, the Journal reported that the bank was firing about 30 regional managers in an attempt to convince regulators it was fixing problems in the aftermath of the phony account scandal.

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The bank has suffered numerous public scandals since the 2016 incident.

For example, last August, the U.S. attorney’s office in California fined the company $2 billion for misrepresenting loan quality for mortgages it sold in the run-up to the financial crisis.

In April of 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau slapped the bank with a record $1 billion fine for misbehavior in its auto and mortgage businesses, like charging customers for auto insurance they didn’t need, or pushing some to default on their loans and lose their cars through repossession.

In a recent SEC filing, the company said it was expecting to refund some customers for monthly account service fees due to confusion over how to have the fees waived.

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