SAN FRANCISCO (dpa-AFX) - Bank holding company Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), amid struggles to re-establish itself after the fake-account scandal, on Thursday said it has separated the roles of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer formally, by amending the company's By-Laws.
The amendment is also for the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board to be independent directors. The Board approved the By-Law amendments, which were effective immediately, on November 29.
In the statement, Chairman Stephen Sanger noted that the Board previously acted to elect an independent Chairman to lead the Board, and formalizing this structure is the right decision at this time.
In October, Wells Fargo elected Tim Sloan, then President and Chief Operating Officer, as the new Chief Executive Officer and Sanger, its Lead Director, as the Board's non-executive Chairman. In their new roles, Sloan and Sanger succeeded Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf, who retired from the company and the Board. Independent director Elizabeth Duke was then appointed to serve as Vice Chair. Sloan also was elected to the Board, and retained the title of President.
Wells Fargo has been marred by a scandal after its retail banking segment employees opened up more than two million unauthorized bank and credit card accounts over the past five years and used those fake accounts to charge extra fees from customers. The bank fired around 5,300 employees for opening accounts without authorization.
Stumpf testified two times before the Congress, and was also forced by the board in September to forfeit $41 million in performance pay as the bank launched an independent investigation of its fraudulent sales practices.
Wells Fargo has agreed to a $185 million settlement with regulators to settle the scandal.
Wells Fargo shares gained 2.68 percent on Thursday and settled at $54.34. In the extended trading, shares lost 0.13 percent.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX