Wells Fargo boss gives up $41m as investigation launched into bonus fraud

The boss of Wells Fargo is to give up $41 million from his pay package because of an accounts fraud that has shaken the company. John Stumpf will not receive a salary from America’s second largest bank during an inquiry into the fraud that has led to the sacking of 5,300 employees. The move is part of an independent in-house investigation during which Mr Stumpf will not receive a salary and nor will he receive a bonus for 2016. The announcement comes ahead of his appearance before a senior political committee where he is expected to face a grilling similar to that he experienced last week from senators.

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

Independent director Stephen Sanger

The bank holds some 40 million accounts for individual citizens across the US and is the nation’s biggest mortgage lender. Mr Stumpf, who has been at the bank for 34 years and CEO since 2007, has until now been admired for keeping Wells free of scandal. The conspiracy happened between 2011 and 2016 when employees at Wells Fargo - whose biggest shareholder is billionaire Warren Buffett - opened two million fake accounts so bank employees gained bonuses for meeting sales targets. The unauthorised deposit and credit accounts were secretly funded with customers’ money.