Wells Fargo CEO will forfeit $41 million in unvested equity
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf will be forfeiting $41 million in unvested equity in the company and forgo his salary temporarily, amid intense national scrutiny focused on the bank for its practice of opening fraudulent accounts.

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Wells Fargo also announced that its head of community banking, Carrie Tolstedt, has left the company and will not be receiving severance. She also forfeited $19 million in unvested equity.

The bank’s independent directors have launched an investigation into Wells Fargo’s retail banking practices, according to the announcement.

“We are deeply concerned by these matters, and we are committed to ensuring that all aspects of the company’s business are conducted with integrity, transparency, and oversight,” Stephen Sanger, the lead independent director, said in a statement.

“We will conduct this investigation with the diligence it deserves -- and will follow the facts wherever they lead. Our thousands of outstanding team members and millions of loyal customers and shareholders deserve no less.”

Sanger said that the board would take further action based on the results of the investigation.

“We will proceed with a sense of urgency but will take the time we need to conduct a thorough investigation,” he said. “We will then take all appropriate actions to reinforce the right culture and ensure that lessons are learned, misconduct is addressed, and systems and processes are improved so there can be no repetition of similar conduct.”

Wells Fargo was fined $185 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau earlier this month after it was revealed that the bank had created millions of bogus accounts in order to boost their sales numbers.

The Labor Department announced Tuesday that it was launching a probe into the bank’s business practices.

Wells Fargo fired thousands of employees as a result of the scandal, but lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have criticized Stumpf and the rest of bank’s leadership for a lack of accountability at the executive level.