Wells Fargo hires Santander executive to oversee sales practices

(Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co WFC.N has hired Michael Cleary from Santander Holdings USA Inc to lead sales practices oversight and management, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.

A Wells Fargo spokesperson confirmed the contents of the memo, which said that in the newly created role, Clearly will develop an approach to sales practices monitoring and reporting across the company.

Cleary will report to new Chief Operating Officer Scott Powell who joined the bank from Santander in December to focus on Wells Fargo’s relationships with regulators. Powell signed the memo.

During his tenure as co-president of Santander Bank, Cleary served on the sales practices committee and worked on various regulatory compliance initiatives.

Wells Fargo has created a number of new leadership positions to address fallout of a long-standing sales practices scandal that erupted in 2016. Within the past year it has added a “head of strategic execution and operations” position to its operating committee to focus on compliance and created “enterprise customer excellence” group to organize its remediation and complaints operations.

The San Francisco-based bank is operating under more than a dozen regulatory consent orders, including an unprecedented growth restriction on its balance sheet from the Federal Reserve until the bank proves it has fixed its risk controls. Additionally, Wells Fargo faces federal probes by the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commision and the Department of Labor.

Reporting by Imani Moise; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio