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Wells Fargo ousts consumer lending head over communication that was 'contrary' to company policy

  • Wells Fargo says its consumer lending division head was dismissed after a communication with a former executive that wasn't in keeping with company policy.
  • The dismissal was not related to sales practices or the business unit in question.
  • Reached by phone Franklin Codel would only say, "I'm proud of my career at Wells Fargo."
A customer leaves an ATM at a Wells Fargo branch in Denver.
Rick Wilking | Reuters
A customer leaves an ATM at a Wells Fargo branch in Denver.

Wells Fargo's head of consumer lending was fired this week over a communication he had with another former executive about that person's firing.

The San Francisco-based bank said Friday that Franklin Codel, a senior executive vice president who had been promoted to the position as head of Consumer Lending only last year, was dismissed, effective immediately. The dismissal, the bank said, was because Codel acted "in a manner that was contrary to the company's policies and expectations of its senior leaders."

The bank wouldn't get more specific about the nature of the communication. Reached by phone Codel would only say, "I'm proud of my career at Wells Fargo."

Codel oversaw 45,000 workers in home lending, auto dealer services, personal lending and personal insurance. Wells Fargo is the nation's biggest mortgage lender and servicer. The executive, based in Iowa, joined Wells in 1993 and was head of home lending from 2015 to 2016, when he was promoted to head consumer lending in a big management shuffle.

Wells is still reeling from the fallout of a fake account scandal that cost its former CEO and other executives their jobs after it was discovered workers had created millions of accounts without customer approval or knowledge in order to achieve internal sales goals.

Wells said Friday the dismissal didn't involve the business or operations of the consumer lending operations and was not related to sales practices. It said a permanent successor will be named by the end of the year.

"Difficult as this situation is, the decision reflects our commitment to our values and culture and to executive accountability," said Tim Sloan, Wells Fargo's president and CEO. "We have a strong team in Consumer Lending and I am fully confident that the transition will be smooth and that its businesses will continue to operate normally in serving our customers."