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Wells Fargo : U.S. prosecutors investigate Wells Fargo's sales practices - source

09/14/2016 | 09:58pm EST
The logo on a Wells Fargo bank building is seen in downtown San Diego

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors have begun an investigation related to sales practices at Wells Fargo & Co that led the bank to agree to a $190 million settlement with regulators, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The U.S. Attorneys' Offices in Manhattan and San Francisco are investigating Wells Fargo, the person said, following a settlement announced on Sept. 8 over claims that some customers were pushed into fee-generating accounts they never requested.

Wells Fargo declined to comment on Wednesday. A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan also declined to comment.

"We don't comment on the existence or non-existence of any investigation," said Abraham Simmons, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco.

The investigation was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The federal prosecutors' probes add a new headache for the company, which has been hit hard by allegations that its staff opened more than two million bank accounts and credit cards for customers without their consent to meet internal sales goals.

As part of last week's settlement, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $185 million in penalties and $5 million to customers. Wells Fargo also said that it had fired 5,300 employees over the sales conduct.

That settlement was with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Office of the Los Angeles City Attorney.

The bank neither admitted nor denied the allegations as part of the settlement.

On Tuesday, Chief Executive John Stumpf apologized and said the management takes responsibility for the problems identified in the settlement.

Although the bank eliminated sales goals for retail staff, Stumpf said "cross-selling" products from various businesses to customers is still important to expand its business.

(This version of the story has been refiled to correct second paragraph to make clear U.S. Attorneys' Offices are plural)

(Reporting by Anet Josline Pinto in Bengaluru and Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Don Sebastian and Grant McCool)

By Nate Raymond

© Reuters 2016
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
DEERE & COMPANY 2.15% 261.95 Delayed Quote.48.00%
WELLS FARGO & COMPANY -0.45% 28.46 Delayed Quote.-47.10%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2020 72 118 M - -
Net income 2020 2 051 M - -
Net Debt 2020 - - -
P/E ratio 2020 78,3x
Yield 2020 4,36%
Capitalization 118 B 118 B -
Capi. / Sales 2020 1,63x
Capi. / Sales 2021 1,65x
Nbr of Employees 274 900
Free-Float 75,2%
Duration : Period :
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Technical analysis trends WELLS FARGO & COMPANY
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Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 26
Average target price 29,86 $
Last Close Price 28,46 $
Spread / Highest target 58,1%
Spread / Average Target 4,91%
Spread / Lowest Target -19,2%
EPS Revisions
Charles William Scharf President, Chief Executive Officer & Director
Charles H. Noski Chairman
Scott E. Powell Chief Operating Officer & Senior Executive VP
Michael Santomassimo Chief Financial Officer & Senior Executive VP
Saul van Beurden Senior Executive VP & Head-Technology
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