Bank reg­u­la­tor im­poses tighter re­stric­tions on Wells Fargo

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - WEATHER - By Martin Crutsinger AP Eco­nom­ics Writer

WASHINGTON >> A fed­eral bank­ing reg­u­la­tor has im­posed tighter re­stric­tions on Wells Fargo & Co., re­quir­ing the bank­ing gi­ant to get ad­vance ap­proval from reg­u­la­tors be­fore mak­ing a wide range of busi­ness de­ci­sions.

The Of­fice of the Comptroller of the Cur­rency, which over­sees national banks, an­nounced the ac­tion in a state­ment late Fri­day.

The OCC will re­quire the bank to get prior ap­proval be­fore mak­ing changes in its board of direc­tors and se­nior ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cers and also be­fore mak­ing “golden para­chute” pay­ments to de­part­ing ex­ec­u­tives.

In a brief state­ment, the OCC did not of­fer any ex­pla­na­tion of why it was al­ter­ing the terms of the agree­ment it had ne­go­ti­ated with the bank in Septem­ber. In that doc­u­ment, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $185 mil­lion fine to set­tle charges in­volv­ing unau­tho­rized cus­tomer ac­counts.

In a state­ment con­cern­ing the new re­stric­tions, Wells Fargo said it would com­ply with all re­quire­ments im­posed by its reg­u­la­tors.

“This will not in­hibit our abil­ity to ex­e­cute our strat­egy, re­build trust and serve our cus­tomers, and con­tinue to op­er­ate the com­pany for the ben­e­fit of all our stake­hold­ers,” the bank said.

On Thurs­day, Wells Fargo dis­closed signs that cus­tomers are pulling back from do­ing busi­ness with the bank fol­low­ing the dis­clo­sures of the sales prac­tices scan­dal in which bank em­ploy­ees opened up to 2 mil­lion bank and credit card ac­counts with­out cus­tomer au­tho­riza­tion.

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