Minnesota-born Wells Fargo CEO retires amid phony account scandal

John Stumpf, the Minnesota-born CEO of banking giant Wells Fargo, has announced his retirement from the company effective immediately.
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John Stumpf, the Minnesota-born CEO of banking giant Wells Fargo, has announced his retirement from the company effective immediately.

The 63-year-old, who originally hails from Pierz, stepped down on Wednesday. It comes after it was revealed more than 5,000 Wells Fargo employees had been involved in a widespread scheme of setting up phony accounts for customers as they chased performance-related bonuses.

"While I have been deeply committed and focused on managing the Company through this period, I have decided it is best for the Company that I step aside," he said in a Wells Fargo statement.

Taking his place is Tim Sloan, the company's president and COO, with Stumpf saying he is "grateful to have had the opportunity to lead Wells Fargo," a company he joined in 1982 as part of the former Norwest Bank.

He spent nine years as CEO and became the company chairman in 2010. There is no mention of the sales scandal in the press release, but the Wall Street Journal reports it's a sign the developments continue to "roil" the firm.

Some 5,300 Wells Fargo employees were fired after it was found they had been engaging over a period of five years in dodgy practices that saw them create phony accounts in customers' names as they chased incentivized bonuses.

This led in many cases to customers being charged overdraft fees and interest on debts they had not accrued.

The bank, which CNN Money reports is worth north of $250 billion, was ordered to pay $185 million in fines by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after the scheme was uncovered, the largest payment levied by the CFPB in its history.

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