Banking

Wells Fargo Replaces, Restructures Exec Team

Wells Fargo is re-shuffling the deck after a huge scandal last year left the bank playing 52-card pickup. Under the watch of the former head of the retail business, Carrie Tolstedt, employees created as many as 2.1 million fake accounts in customers’ names to meet aggressive sales goals.

The San Francisco-based bank has since replaced Tolstedt with Mary Mack as head of the retail business and is now reassigning four executives to report directly to Mack.

Under Mack’s leadership, Bob Chlebowski has been named branch distribution executive, Laurey Cosentino will lead the customer and branch experience team, Celeste Finley will lead the regional services group and Jonathan Velline has been named head of business strategy and administration.

The issues came to light last fall after Wells Fargo reached a $190 million settlement with an L.A. prosecutor and federal regulators in September 2016. The bank has been shaking up its leadership structure ever since.

“These leadership changes are responsive to our priorities of rebuilding trust with team members and customers … so that we can learn from the past,” Mack said in a May 24 memo.

The memo also revealed that the bank had reduced its number of western U.S. sub-regions from eight to five. Roles have been reassigned within the western division, leaving two executives to seek new opportunities. The memo said they will look first within the company.

Earlier this year, Wells Fargo fired four mid-level executives and stripped them of bonuses and stock awards due to their involvement in the scandal. Former chairman and CEO John Stumpf and another executive removed themselves, forfeiting tens of millions in compensation.

Wells Fargo is the third largest U.S. bank by deposits but reported its fifth straight decline in quarterly earnings in January, while other major banks posted gains.

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New PYMNTS Report: Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook – July 2020 

Call it the great tug-of-war. Fraudsters are teaming up to form elaborate rings that work in sync to launch account takeovers. Chris Tremont, EVP at Radius Bank, tells PYMNTS that financial institutions (FIs) can beat such highly organized fraudsters at their own game. In the July 2020 Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook, Tremont lays out how.

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