Wells Fargo reform plans fail to satisfy Fed after scandals: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve has rejected Wells Fargo & Co’s plans to prevent further consumer abuses and told the scandal-plagued lender it needs stronger checks on management, according to three people with knowledge of the discussions.

A Wells Fargo logo is seen in New York City, U.S. January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

The concerns raised by the Fed, which have not been previously reported, are likely to increase the time it takes the central bank to lift an asset cap it imposed on Wells Fargo in February following a string of sales practices scandals.

The bank must draw up a robust plan to improve its governance and risk management controls before the Fed will lift the cap and in February Wells Fargo Chief Executive Tim Sloan said the bank was “on the fast track” to meeting those conditions.

Both the Fed and Wells Fargo declined to comment on the specifics of the review.

On Thursday, the bank said it was working to satisfy the Fed’s concerns and that the process was ongoing.

“We work diligently to address feedback provided,” the bank said in a statement. “This is an ongoing, iterative process.”

In April, Wells Fargo submitted its plan, expecting the Fed to sign off on it over the summer, but the central bank instead told the country’s fourth-largest lender to go back to the drawing board, the people said.

The settlement requires Wells Fargo to toughen board oversight, repay customers hurt by past abuses, and make more than 20 other improvements to its governance, risk management and compliance controls.

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