Wells' Woes Seep Into investment Banking

More bad news for Wells Fargo: The financial institution has fired four foreign exchange (Forex) bankers following an investigation into that business by both the bank and regulators.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the reason for their terminations has not been released. Sources said the four bankers let go were Simon Fowles, recently global head of Foreign Exchange Trading; Bob Gotelli, recently head of Foreign Exchange Global Sales; Jed Guenther, recently a regional head of foreign exchange; and Michael Schaufler, chief spot dealer.

The news comes as Wells Fargo is conducting its own internal investigation and as federal regulators have been examining practices in the investment banking business.

This is just the latest headache for the financial institution, which is still dealing with the fallout from a scandal in which 3.5 million fake accounts were opened without customers’ permission. The bank has also been accused of improperly forcing thousands of U.S. customers to lock in home interest rates when their mortgage applications were delayed.

Additionally, Reuters stated that a report from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) criticized the Wall Street bank for forcing numerous borrowers to buy unneeded auto insurance, as well as for its handling of these issues once they were brought to light. The OCC went on to state that the bank may need to refund customers more than the $80 million the bank had previously cited.

The Forex firings come just weeks after Wells Fargo CEO Timothy Sloan was grilled during a Senate Banking committee hearing investigating the bank’s conduct and culture. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) said more had to be done in regards to the bank’s recent scandals and called for Sloan’s firing.

Nevertheless, the CEO is optimistic for the company’s future. In an interview with CNBC, the executive said the company is making “really good changes, not only to fix anything that was broken,” but also to investigate and make improvements to the products and services the bank offers.

“I’m very optimistic and confident that over time we’ll achieve the growth that we’ve seen historically,” he said.



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