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Wells Fargo’s recent accounts scandal was not limited to its retail banking unit, according to a report from Reuters.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, 10,000 small business accounts were impacted by Wells sales practices that also drove employees to open 2 million retail accounts without the knowledge of customers. It was not clear in the Reuters report how the small business accounts were impacted.
In a letter to Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf on September 29, Sen. David Vitter claimed that the scandal went beyond the retail sector, according to Reuters.
Stumpf was asked during his testimony to the House Financial Services Committee on Thursday whether the accounts scandal impacted the small business division of the bank. He responded that he was not aware that it had spread.
In semi-related news, credit rating agency Fitch Ratings downgraded the oulook for the bank’s debt to negative from neutral based on the fallout from the accounts scandal. It did however maintain its AA- rating.
“The affirmation reflects the company’s superior earnings profile, strong liquidity, and still benign asset quality, while the Outlook revision reflects potential damage to the firm’s franchise and earnings profile following recent regulatory actions regarding improper unauthorized account openings,” said the decision from Fitch.