November 29, 2017 / 9:14 PM / 16 days ago

New Mexico AG to ask Wells Fargo for damages in accounts scandal

(Reuters) - New Mexico’s attorney general on Wednesday announced plans to ask Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) to pay damages on behalf of customers who were victims of a scandal in which the bank created as many as 3.5 million unauthorized accounts.

A push by Wells Fargo to get existing customers to buy more of its products, known as cross-selling, was at the center of the fake accounts scandal that has dogged the bank for more than a year. The company settled with regulators in September 2016.

    New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said his investigation showed that Wells Fargo’s corporate management used cross-selling as a tactic and “pressured employees to put profits over people.”

    San Francisco-based Wells Fargo is the largest bank in New Mexico with 93 branches, according to Balderas.

    Many lawsuits have been filed against the bank, including those on behalf of customers, and several top company officials including then-CEO John Stumpf and retail banking chief Carrie Tolstedt have left the bank.

    Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar

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