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Wells Fargo Scandals Expand With Firing of Foreign Exchange Bankers

Signage with logo at headquarters of Wells Fargo Capital Finance, the commercial banking division of Wells Fargo Bank, in the Financial District neighborhood of San Francisco, California, September 26, 2016. (Photo via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images). Smith Collection/Gado Getty Images

Wells Fargo’s troubles continue to worsen, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that the bank has fired four foreign-exchange bankers, most of them high-ranking, in connection with a client transaction. A senior executive has also been reassigned, and both an internal investigation and regulators have reportedly turned their attention to the bank’s foreign exchange operation.

Though the specifics of the incident haven’t been reported, sources told the Journal that those let go included the bank’s head of foreign exchange trading, head of foreign exchange sales, and chief spot dealer, as well as a regional head of foreign exchange. A prior head of the foreign exchange group was also reportedly reassigned.

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The firings suggest yet another expansion of Wells Fargo’s string of sales-related scandals. The initial revelations came last year, and revolved around the bank’s retail sales operations, where workers faced with demanding quotas opened hundreds of thousands of bank and credit accounts customers hadn’t asked for.

In August, an outside review found that those fraudulent accounts were even more widespread than initially reported. It was also recently disclosed that Wells had saddled hundreds of thousands of car buyers with unwanted insurance, and concealed fees related to mortgage loans to military veterans.

Wells Fargo’s stock has slid steadily as it struggles to repair serious damage to the company’s reputation, and reform what some have called a “massively broken” corporate culture, more focused on commissions and sales targets than serving customers’ interests.

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