Bank Watch

Wells Fargo taps four directors to investigate its sales scandal: source

Stephen Sanger poses in this July 2000 file photo. Sanger, chairman of Wells Fargo, is among three independent directors of the bank investigating its sales practices.
Stephen Sanger poses in this July 2000 file photo. Sanger, chairman of Wells Fargo, is among three independent directors of the bank investigating its sales practices.

Wells Fargo Chairman Stephen Sanger, Vice Chair Elizabeth Duke and two other independent board directors constitute the committee investigating sales practices at the San Francisco-based bank, a person familiar with the matter told the Observer on Friday.

Wells Fargo announced its independent investigation Sept. 27 but did not disclose the committee’s members at the time. The source familiar with the matter said Friday the members were selected when the investigation launched in late September.

The other two members are Enrique Hernandez, who chairs the bank’s risk and finance committees, and Donald James, who sits on the finance and human resources committees.

A spokesperson for the bank’s board declined to comment. The members’ names were reported Thursday by Reuters.

The board announced its probe of Wells’ retail banking sales practices following authorities’ claims that employees under pressure to meet sales goals opened millions of accounts potentially without customer knowledge. Wells Fargo has faced ongoing fallout since revelations of the scandal, which sparked new federal investigations and led its CEO to step down.

In announcing the independent investigation, the bank said the special committee would lead the probe, working with the board’s human resources committee and independent counsel Shearman & Sterling.

Sanger, who chairs the bank’s governance and nominating committee and sits on the human resources and risk committees, has served as chairman of the board since CEO John Stumpf left the bank in September.

This month, the bank changed its bylaws requiring Wells’ CEO and chairman posts be held by different people. In making that move, it also said Sanger will receive an annual retainer of $250,000, higher than the $60,000 retainer in his previous role as lead director. Sanger has served as a director at Wells Fargo since 2003.

Duke, a director since January 2015, serves on the bank’s credit, finance and risk committees. In announcing the bylaws change, Wells disclosed it will pay an annual retainer of $100,000 to its independent vice chairman, a role given to Duke in October.

Deon Roberts: 704-358-5248, @DeonERoberts

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