NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Wells Fargo (WFC) - Get Report closed lower on Thursday as Goldman Sachs analysts said the San Francisco-based bank could owe less than $50 million if it were to reimburse customers who were harmed by the more than 2 million illegal account openings.
About 565,000 of the 2 million accounts were for credit cards, and would have been reported to credit-rating companies, according to Bloomberg.
Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf was asked about reimbursing customers when he testified before the Senate Banking Committeeyesterday. One official said the impacts on customers could be wide-ranging, such as higher borrowing costs for those whose credit scores were dinged, Bloomberg notes.
However, Goldman said in an analyst note that it sees the "potential costs as very small."
Opening the unauthorized credit-card accounts would result in an average 10-point decrease in a customer's FICO score, the firm added.
While Wells Fargo is likely to accrue additional fines above the funds owed to their customers, Goldman said the impact appears "manageable."
The bank was fined $185 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau earlier this month. Wells Fargo subsequently laid off 5,300 employees related to the deceptive sales practices.
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Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:
TheStreet Ratings team rates Wells Fargo as a Buy with a ratings score of B. This is driven by several positive factors, which it believes should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks it covers. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and attractive valuation levels. The team feels its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: