Two Wells Fargo Executives Announce Leaves of Absence as Retail Scandals Linger

Wells Fargo (WFC) is losing two key executives in audit and administration as past scandals hang over the bank.

In a move related to "previously disclosed ongoing reviews by regulatory agencies in connection with historical retail banking sales practices," the company's Chief Auditor David Julian and Chief Administrative Officer Hope Hardison are taking leaves of absence and will no longer advise on the company's operating committee.

The San Francisco-based bank has been embroiled in controversy in recent years, most notably within its retail banking sector wherein employees opened phantom accounts, forged signatures, and ordered credit cards on behalf of bank customers.

The issue was first reported by the Los Angeles Times in 2013 and the controversy, along with malpractice in the bank's mortgage loans division, has led to the retirement or dismissal of numerous key executives like former CEO John Stumpf.

Just this year, head of financial crimes risk management Jim Richards, head of operational risk and compliance Kevin Oden, head of enterprise risk Keb Byers and chief risk officer Mike Loughlin have all retired amid scandals.

Company officials declined to comment on specific details motivating the leave of absence for executives at this point in time.

Moving forward, Kimberly Bordner, currently executive audit director, will become the company's acting Chief Auditor while the Chief Administrator role will be performed by committee.

"Because of the depth of our management team, we are confident in our ability to ensure an effective transition," CEO Tim Sloan said. "During the past two years, we have become more customer-focused, made significant leadership and board changes, strengthened risk management and controls, simplified the organization, and invested in our team members. We remain steadfast in our focus on making things right for customers and building a better Wells Fargo."

Shares remain largely flat post-market as the news is digested.

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