Well Fargo Denies Bonuses, Fires Managers
Well Fargo & Co has fired the consumer credit card business chief as well as three other members of senior management as its board of directors investigates how its abusive sales practices spread across its branches prior becoming a national scandal in 2016.
The former regional president in Los Angeles, Shelley Freeman, who then ran the consumer credit solutions department, was relieved of her duties, as was Pam Conboy the lead regional president in Arizona, Claudia Russ the former risk chief for community banks and Matthew Raphaelson who led the strategy and initiatives at community bank.
Wells Fargo announced its moves through a Tuesday statement saying the four executives would not receive bonuses for last year and would forfeit all unvested equity awards as well as outstanding options.
Leaders at the bank have worked since last September to lessen the public furor after the bank was fined by authorities in the amount of $185 million for opening over 2 million bank accounts at the retail level without the approval of customers.
The bank’s board and its management are conducting their own reviews as to how that practice had proliferated. They have vowed to hold all managers involved accountable after the bank fired more than 5,300 employees that were mostly low-level in the past few years.
Freeman would not comment when asked, while the other three executives did not respond to requests seeking their comment.
Freeman and Conboy had won promotions due to the top brass focusing on cross selling, which is persuading customers on an individual basis to open up additional accounts at the bank.
After Freeman oversaw Los Angeles operations, she ran operations in Florida, where she would send e-mails to her branch employees that urged them to sell, said some of her former employees.
She even mentioned her tickets to the Super Bowl and purchasing a pair of sunglasses for $800 as incentives for the employees to make more sales.
One ex-employee said that Conboy, who moved up the ranks of the bank in California, was at times sent to other parts of the country to teach different sales strategies, said a manager.
Anderson took a leave of six months that was unpaid last September the bank said at that time.
Well Fargo did not specify Tuesday what conduct had prompted the firing of the four and authorities have yet to accuse any of the four of any wrongdoing.