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Wells Fargo Curbs Product Cross-Selling

September 13, 2016 / Source: WSJ

Wells Fargo & Co. has instructed some of its employees to stop cross-selling products to customers, shortly after the bank was hit with a $185 million fine for questionable sales tactics

By CHRISTINA REXRODE and EMILY GLAZER

Updated Sept. 12, 2016 10:19 p.m. ET

Wells Fargo & Co. has told some employees to stop cross-selling products to customers, while the Senate Banking Committee’s Republican majority said late Monday it plans a hearing into the bank’s sales practices.

The committee intends to question Wells Fargo Chief Executive John Stumpf about the events that led the bank to pay a $185 million fine and enter into an enforcement action with two federal regulators and a local official. The committee has already informed Mr. Stumpf that his presence was requested for the Sept. 20 hearing, according to Torrie Matous, a spokeswoman for the banking committee’s majority, led by Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama.

Wells Fargo declined to comment.

Several Wells Fargo executives are scheduled to brief the banking committee Tuesday and regulators are expected to meet with them later this week, according to people familiar with the matter.

The move comes after committee Democrats had called earlier Monday for a hearing into the biggest U.S. bank by market value. “We should accept nothing less than a full and transparent explanation of what went wrong, who is responsible, how to fix it and how to prevent such fraud in the future,” Democratic senators wrote.

Wells Fargo has faced a public and political storm after last week’s agreement with regulators alleged practices that included employees creating as many as two million accounts without customers’ knowledge. The bank didn’t admit or deny wrongdoing.

In the wake of the settlement, the bank instructed some workers fielding customer calls to “please suspend referrals of products or services unless requested by customers until further notice,” according to an alert sent to some employees Friday that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

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