Tags: wells fargo | managers | branch | internal inspections

Wells Fargo Reviews Alerting Managers of Internal Inspections

Image: Wells Fargo Reviews Alerting Managers of Internal Inspections

(Getty/Joe Raedle)

Tuesday, 24 Jan 2017 01:25 PM

Wells Fargo & Co., the lender struggling to recover from a scandal involving bogus customer accounts, is reviewing its policy of giving retail bankers a day’s notice before internal inspectors visit a branch.

One option is to eliminate the practice, Mary Eshet, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco-based firm, said Tuesday. The bank unit that monitors risk began on-site exams for misconduct and stepped up a mystery shopper program last year after Wells Fargo was fined $185 million by U.S. regulators for opening accounts without customers’ knowledge.

Tim Sloan, who took over as chief executive officer in October after John Stumpf quit, said he’s working to rid the bank of practices that contributed to the accounts scandal and last week announced the creation of an ethics office responsible for rooting out bad behavior. Community bank head Mary Mack unveiled a compensation plan for retail-bank employees this month that favors customer-service scores over sales goals.

Branch employees in the retail bank used notice periods of 24 hours to 72 hours to falsify records and forge customer signatures, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier Tuesday, citing current and former workers it didn’t identify. The examinations included physical and electronic records, the newspaper said.

‘Hard Look’

“We continue to make improvements and take a hard look at all our processes, and if the 24-hour notice is an issue, we will eliminate it,” Eshet said. Inspectors also review centrally stored electronic documents in advance of branch visits, she said.

The bank has “invested millions in staffing and other resources” to improve retail-branch monitoring and increased branch inspections by the internal audit team, she said.

Some retail bank operations have suffered since federal authorities fined the bank in September. Retail customers opened 40 percent fewer checking accounts in December from a year earlier and submitted 43 percent fewer credit-card applications. Community bank profit fell 15 percent to $2.7 billion in the fourth quarter from the preceding three-month period as Wells Fargo took in less from mortgage banking and fees it charges on deposit accounts.

 

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Wells Fargo, the lender struggling to recover from a scandal involving bogus customer accounts, is reviewing its policy of giving retail bankers a day's notice before internal inspectors visit a branch.
wells fargo, managers, branch, internal inspections
339
2017-25-24
Tuesday, 24 Jan 2017 01:25 PM
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