ECONOMY

US: Wells Fargo finds 1.4 million more fake accounts

US: WELLS FARGO FINDS 1.4 MILLION MORE FAKE ACCOUNTS

Wells Fargo announced Thursday it had uncovered 1.4 million potentially fake accounts in addition to the 2.1 million fake accounts it discovered last year.

The federal government fined the San Francisco-based bank $185 million last year after an investigation revealed the company's sales practices encouraged employees to set up fake bank and credit card accounts. Congressional investigations and lawsuits in the past year found thousands of employees had signed up customers for accounts without their knowledge in order to meet demanding sales quotas.

In a statement, the bank said the estimated number of fake accounts has increased 67 percent to 3.5 million. The accounts were set up between 2009 and late 2016.

The company said it would pay $10.7 million to affected customers of the newly revealed fake accounts.

"We apologize to everyone who was harmed by unacceptable sales practices that occurred in our retail bank," CEO Tim Sloan said in a statement. "To rebuild trust and to build a better Wells Fargo, our first priority is to make things right for our customers, and the completion of this expanded third-party analysis is an important milestone."

Sloan took over at Wells Fargo after former chief executive John Stumpf retired amid the scandal.

Senator Elizabeth Warren lambasted Wells Fargo on Twitter.

"Unbelievable," she wrote. "Wells Fargo's massive fraud is even worse than we thought."

She demanded the Federal Reserve remove every single Wells Fargo board member who served during the scandal and for more congressional hearings.

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