Wells Fargo boss John Stumpf steps down

John Stumpf Image copyright AFP

Wells Fargo's chief executive, John Stumpf, is to resign immediately in the wake of a scandal over its sales practices, the bank has announced.

The bank is investigating how two million accounts were opened without customers' permission.

Last month, it said Mr Stumpf, who was paid $19.3m last year, would not receive a salary during the inquiry.

He will be succeeded by the bank's current president and chief operating officer, Timothy Sloan.

The bank's independent chairman, Stephen Sanger, will take over as board chairman.

Last month, Wells Fargo was fined $185m and accused of "widespread illegal practice" by US regulators.

The fine imposed on the bank by the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was the largest to date by the watchdog.

"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," Mr Stumpf said.

Image copyright Getty Images

Wells Fargo has fired more than 5,000 staff in response to the scandal.

The bank has said it will be contacting every deposit customer across the country to see if their accounts were properly authorised.

It will also contact hundreds of thousands of customers with valid credit cards to see if they want or need those cards.

In the future, confirmation emails will be sent to customers within one hour of the opening of a new deposit account.

The bank's former head of retail operations, Carrie Tolstedt, has forfeited $19m of bonuses and left without a payoff.

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