Wells Fargo creates unit to help meet regulatory demands

by Ryan Smith10 May 2019

In an attempt to recover from its seemingly endless parade of scandals, Wells Fargo has created a new unit whose sole function is to help the embattled bank meet regulatory and compliance demands.

Wells Fargo veteran Derek Flowers will lead the new “strategic execution and operations unit,” according to an internal Wells Fargo memo cited by The Financial Times. Flowers is currently the bank’s chief credit and market risk officer, according to Yahoo Finance.

The new unit will focus exclusively on “strengthening and driving the implementation of certain business and risk-management processes,” according to the memo.

The bank is in desperate need of an image boost. Since late 2016, when it was revealed to have opened millions of customer accounts without those customers’ knowledge or consent, Wells Fargo has been involved in scandal after scandal, has racked up staggering fines, and has been named as a defendant in numerous lawsuits. The company has also been repeatedly accused of retaliating against employees who pointed out its abuses.

The bank is currently operating under an asset cap placed on it by the Federal Reserve – a cap that was supposed to be lifted by September of last year but which remains in place, as Wells Fargo has consistently failed to impress the Fed with its remediation plans.

Both the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have also stated that they aren’t satisfied with the megabank’s efforts to clean up its act, with CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger recently telling lawmakers that she considered “all options on the table” for enforcing reform.