September 1, 2017 / 4:09 PM / in 10 months

Timeline: Wells Fargo since sales scandal last year

September 1 (Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co on Thursday raised the estimate of accounts opened without customers’ knowledge by 1.4 million, bringing the total to about 3.5 million.

FILE PHOTO: A man walks by an ATM at the Wells Fargo & Co. bank in downtown Denver, U.S., April 13, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo

The scandal over phony accounts came to light last September after the company announced a $185 million settlement with regulators to atone for the sales abuses.

The third-largest U.S. bank by assets has since encountered numerous government probes and lawsuits.

In response, Wells Fargo has fired senior managers, changed pay incentives for branch staff, separated the role of chairman and CEO and faced a difficult shareholder vote at its annual meeting.

John Stumpf, the company’s CEO when the scandal broke, also announced his retirement in October, following weeks of intense public pressure. He was succeeded by Tim Sloan.

The bank still faces probes from federal, state and local government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as a number of private lawsuits, according to regulatory filings.

Here are the important events that took place since news of the sales scandal emerged:


Sept. 8, Agrees to pay $185 million in fines and $5 million in penalties to

2016 customers, as part of settlement with Los Angeles officials who

accused the bank of pushing customers into multiple, fee-generating

accounts that they never requested.

Mid Sept, Bank's independent directors launch investigation into sales

2016 practices; engage law firm Shearman & Sterling LLP.

Sept. 19, CEO John Stumpf appears before the Senate Banking Committee, comes

2016 under fire for his oversight. Says customers who had bogus accounts

opened in their names will be compensated for damage to credit rating.

Democratic Senators Jeff Merkley and Elizabeth Warren ask him to

resign. Warren says Stumpf should return his salary and be criminally


Sept. 27, Carrie Tolstedt, head of the retail division at the center of the

2016 sales scandal, leaves ahead of her scheduled retirement on Dec. 31; to

get no severance or equity awards.

Stumpf to forgo equity awards worth $41 million and salary.

Sept. 27, Bank eliminates product sales goals in retail division.


Oct. 10, Forms new payments, virtual solutions and innovation business group.


Appoints new members to its operating committee, and leaders for

consumer lending and wholesale banking.

Oct. 12, Stumpf retires as CEO and chairman. Tim Sloan appointed CEO.

2016 Names Steve Sanger independent chairman and Betsy

Duke independent vice chair.

Oct 14, Reports 3.7 percent drop in Q3 profit as it sets aside funds for

2016 potential legal costs.

Nov. 29, Amends by-laws to ensure board chairman and any vice chairman be

2016 independent directors.

Jan. 10, Introduces new incentive compensation plan for team

2017 members in retail branches and call centres.

Jan 13, Q4 profit falls 6.4 percent; says still analyzing whether additional

2017 unauthorized accounts were opened in 2009 and 2010.

Feb 20, Board elects two new independent directors, Karen Peetz and Ron

2017 Sargent.

Feb 21, Terminates employment of four current and former managers in Community

2017 Bank division due to the sales practices. Says none will receive a

2016 bonus and each will forfeit all outstanding equity awards and

stock options.

March 1, Says no 2016 cash bonuses for eight senior executives, including CEO

2017 Sloan and CFO John Shrewsberry; reduces three-year equity awards made

in 2014 by up to 50 pct for the executives.

April 13,; Posts nearly flat Q1 profit. Berkshire Hathaway says to sell 9 million

2017 shares and withdraw its application for permission to boost its

ownership stake above 10 percent.

April 25, Shareholders rebuke the bank at the annual meeting; offer scant

2017 support for a dozen directors, including chairman

May 6, 2017 "At Wells Fargo, there were three significant mistakes, but one dwarfs

all of the others ... You have to be careful what you incentivize.

There was an incentive system built around cross-selling ... That was

incentivizing the wrong kind of behavior,” Warren Buffett at

Berkshire’s 52nd annual meeting”The main problem was they didn’t act

when they learned about it.”

May 11, Doubles cost-cutting target at investor day


June 13, Branch employees paid for the first time in May using new goals that

2017 focus on customer service, says branch banking chief Mary Mack at an

investor conference.

June 28, Receives no objection to its 2017 capital plan from the U.S. Federal

2017 Reserve.

July 13, The Federal Reserve is prepared to act against the directors of Wells

2017 Fargo if an investigation deems it appropriate, Chair Janet Yellen

said while testifying before the Senate Banking Committee

July 14, Q2 revenue misses estimates; bank indicates costs may remain elevated

2017 in the near term

August 31, Says 1.4 million additional accounts were potentially opened without

2017 permission, bringing the total estimate to 3.5 million accounts opened

Source: Company filings, company presentations, Reuters

Reporting By Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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