More Wells Fargo customers may be affected by sales scandal, according to filing

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More Wells Fargo customers may have been affected by a scandal over phony accounts than previously believed, the third-largest U.S. lender said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday.

Wells Fargo had previously estimated that up to 2.1 million customers may have had checking and credit-card accounts opened in their names without authorization over a period of several years.

As part of an expanded review of affected customers, Wells said in its annual 10-K filing that there could be "an increase in the identified number of potentially impacted customers."

Wells initially disclosed the number of affected customers as part of a $185 million settlement in September, leading to multiple government probes, lawsuits and an internal review, and hurting Wells Fargo's reputation.

Thousands of employees were fired over customer abuses, which stemmed from aggressive sales targets implemented by managers. Wells's then-CEO John Stumpf abruptly left the bank because of the scandal.

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The bank has been working to repair the damage, in part by determining whether customers were charged improper fees or had their credit scores hurt by the phony accounts.

At this stage, Wells said in the filing Wednesday it does not expect that any additional remediation efforts will have a "significant financial impact."

However, the bank said its broader review could lead to more legal or regulatory proceedings, reputational damage and other negative consequences.