Thousands of staffers who were fired in recent years after opening unauthorized customer accounts represented under-performing employees struggling to meet goals, Wells Fargo CFO John Shrewsberry said Tuesday.
"These bad practices were not a revenue-generating activity," Shrewsberry said. "It was really more at the lower end of the performance scale where people apparently were making bad choices to hang on to their job."
Speaking at the Barclays 2016 Global Financial Services Conference in New York, Shrewsberry told attendees the bank's plans to eliminate retail banking product sales goals would help it foster a culture of compliance. He spoke days after the bank was $185 million fined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Treasury Department and the city of Los Angeles.
At the conference Tuesday the bank said its review of millions of accounts showed that in as many as 1.5 million deposit accounts and 565,000 credit card accounts, "we could not rule out the possibility that an account was unauthorized." It said 115,000 of those accounts had incurred a fee that Wells Fargo has since refunded to customers. Wells Fargo reviewed 82 million checking accounts and 11 million credit cards as part of its inquiry into the matter, which covered activity dating to 2011.