Wells Fargo bankers pursuing bonuses charged hundreds of customers inflated foreign transaction fees, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
The report comes just over a year since Wells Fargo paid a fine of $ 185 million for "illegal generalized" sales practices, fees on 2 million deposit accounts and open credit cards without customer knowledge.
An internal review of Wells Fargo in the latest violation showed that only 35 commercial customers out of a total of about 300 charged the actual price that had been quoted by Wells Fargo bankers for their currency exchanges, two employees told The Journal. They listened to the conclusions of the banking investigation in a conference call in June, the newspaper said.
Sources told the newspaper that four foreign bankers have been fired and federal investigators have opened their own investigation.
Currency bankers received bonuses based only on the income they contributed to Wells Fargo, which is different from the major banks in the rest of the industry, according to the Journal. The bank told the newspaper that it began to change the bond structure earlier this year.
The Wells Fargo investigation was part of the bank's reforms in the wake of the false account scandal. CEO John Stumpf retired last year after the scandal broke, but he left with a $ 133 million package, Fortune said.
The news comes amidst turmoil in the Federal Office of Consumer Financial Protection, which President Donald Trump is now trying to control with an interim director handpicked. The CFPB was launched in 2010 by the Dodd-Frank Act to protect consumers in the wake of the subprime mortgage debacle of banks and the subsequent economic crisis. It was the CFPB that raised $ 100 million of the fine against Wells Fargo for unauthorized bank accounts.
Republicans have complained for a long time that the CFPB is too hard for the financial industry. Now, Trump appointed his White House budget director, Mick Mulvaney, as interim head of the office after director Richard Cordray resigned last week. Cordray had appointed deputy director Leandra English as interim chief. English filed a lawsuit on Sunday in an attempt to prevent Mulvaney from taking over.
Wells Fargo told the Journal in a statement that it "remains committed" to its foreign exchange operation, which is now under "new administration." If "there is a problem, we solve it," said the bank.
The Journal said that Wells Fargo charged some of the highest foreign transaction fees in the business, two to eight times higher than industry standards, according to the sources. Wells denied it.