Former Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf agreed to pay $2.5 million in fines to settle charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission that he misled investors, the agency said Friday.
The agency claimed that Stumpf and Carrie Tolstedt, Wells’ former retail banking head, misled investors about the widespread sales practice problems at the bank. The SEC said it will litigate fraud charges against Tolstedt in court.
A lawyer for Stumpf, who stepped down as CEO in 2016, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Stumpf did not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement.
An attorney for Tolstedt said she was an “honest and conscientious executive,” and the SEC charges are “unfair and unfounded.”
Stumpf, a native of Pierz, Minn., graduated from St. Cloud State and the University of Minnesota before joining Minneapolis-based Norwest Corp. in 1982.
He rose through the giant Minnesota banking company’s executive ranks and became a senior leader when it merged with Wells Fargo in 1998.
Friday’s SEC charges mark the latest in a long-running set of legal and regulatory woes for the bank and its former leadership, after the firm was embroiled in a massive scandal over the creation of fake accounts by employees. In February, the bank agreed to pay $3 billion to settle a joint probe by the SEC and Justice Department.
Stumpf and Tolstedt have faced individual sanctions as well. Stumpf was barred from the banking industry and fined $17.5 million by a banking regulator in January, and Tolstedt is facing a $25 million fine which she is fighting in court.
In the latest charges, the SEC said the pair misled investors about the health of their sales practices, and they should have known about deep-seated issues within the bank.