Wells Fargo fires over 100 employees for COVID-19 relief fund misuse: source

FILE PHOTO: Warning signs for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are seen on a Wells Fargo bank door in New York City, U.S., March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

(Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co WFC.N has fired about 100 to 125 employees for unethically availing themselves of coronavirus relief funds, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The bank believes some of its staffers made “false representations in applying for coronavirus relief funds for themselves”, defrauding the U.S. Small Business Administration, David Galloreese, head of Human Resources, said in an internal memo seen by Reuters.

The abuse was tied to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and outside the employees’ roles at the bank, the memo said, adding Wells Fargo will cooperate fully with law enforcement.

“These wrongful actions were personal actions, and do not involve our customers.”

Bloomberg first reported the news earlier in the day.

Last month, JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM.N dismissed several employees who allegedly misused funds that were supposed to help businesses dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Financial Times reported. ​

Reporting by Imani Moise in New York and C Nivedita in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli