Wells fargo continues to test regulators dealbook briefing – the new york times gasbuddy diesel


In a statement included in the Journal report, Wells Fargo said: “This matter involves documents used for internal purposes. No customers were negatively impacted, no data left the company, and no products or services were sold as a result.”

But a bank doesn’t have to harm customers to get into trouble with its regulators. Much of what regulators do is aimed at ensuring banks have systems in place to make sure they are complying with regulations. As scandals have hit Wells Fargo over the past two years, regulators have been pressing the bank to tighten up its controls. But the missteps reported by the Journal occurred as recently as the early part of this year, suggesting Wells Fargo is still struggling to improve its compliance and its workplace culture.

It is not clear how widespread the purported abuses are. But the documentation was reportedly related to controls aimed at spotting money-laundering, an area of compliance where regulators tend to hold a hard line. If the documentation missteps in the business bank are significant, regulators could be ready to take tough action. In its enforcement action, the O.C.C. stated that it:

“…expressly reserves its right to assess future civil money penalties, or take other supervisory and/or enforcement actions, including in circumstances where the O.C.C. determines that the bank is not making sufficient and sustainable progress towards implementation of an effective and sustainable enterprise-wide compliance risk management program.”

“The employees in Wells Fargo’s so-called wholesale unit, which is separate from its retail bank, added or altered information without customers’ knowledge, according to the people familiar with the matter. The information added varied from social security numbers to addresses to dates of birth for people associated with business-banking clients, the people said.”

The altering of the information comes as Wells Fargo deals with revelations over the past two years that Wells Fargo employees were creating fake accounts using customers’ identities, were forcing borrowers to buy unnecessary auto insurance, and were overcharging mortgage fees. The Federal Reserve earlier this year restricted its growth until it demonstrates it is complying with bank regulations. Walmart’s online sales rebound a bit

Why does it matter? Walmart has long grappled with how to keep up with Amazon. In recent years, Doug McMillon, Walmart’s chief executive, has embarked on an ambitious strategy to remake the retailer for the digital age. Walmart is spending $16 billion — its biggest deal ever — for a 77 percent stake in India’s largest online retailer, Flipkart, a bet on both e-commerce and emerging markets. That deal followed Walmart’s purchase of the e-commerce site Jet.com for $3.3 billion and its acquisition of Bonobos for $310 million nearly a year ago. Walmart also dropped “Stores” from its name late last year to reflect its focus on e-commerce.

But the transformation has had its bumps. After three quarters of more than 50 percent growth, e-commerce sales increased just 23 percent in the fourth quarter. Jet was supposed to be Walmart’s answer to Amazon, but analysts said Jet’s growth had slowed in the fourth quarter. And Walmart said it would focus on driving new customers through its main Walmart.com site. Photo