Wells Fargo says number of 'unauthorized accounts' could be even higher

Wells Fargo said in a regulatory filing Friday that the number of "potentially unauthorized accounts" involved in its fake accounts scandal could be much higher than previous estimates. The news sent the bank's stock lower.

The stock, which had been up 30 cents at its intraday high of $53.70, fell as much as 2.8% to $51.91 after the news broke, before regaining some of its losses. The stock closed down 1.1% at $52.84.

In the filing, the bank said its expanded voluntary review of its sales practices, which included a wider time period and will be complete by the end of the third quarter, "may lead to a significant increase in the identified number of potentially unauthorized accounts."

The stock fell despite the bank's contention that it did not expect any "incremental customer remediation costs" resulting from its findings to have a "significant financial impact."

Wells Fargo's image took a big hit following the September 2016 scandal in which federal investigators said the bank had opened as many as two million fraudulent accounts without customers' authorizations.

The bank, which was hit with a $185 million fine, has since fired roughly 5,300 employees tied to the scam, and clawed back more than $75 million in pay from top executives, including ex-CEO John Stumpf, who retired in October.

© 2017 USA TODAY


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