The U.S. Justice Department is probing whether employees committed fraud in Wells Fargo & Co.’s wholesale banking unit, following revelations that employees improperly altered customer information, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.
The department has sought more information from the bank to see if management pressure prompted the employees to improperly alter or add the information prior to a regulatory deadline, the Journal reported, citing the same people.
The Justice Department is interested in learning if there is a pattern of unethical and potentially fraudulent employee behavior tied to management pressure, the WSJ reported.
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The incident happened in 2017 and early 2018 as Wells Fargo was trying to meet a deadline to comply with a regulatory consent order related to the bank’s anti-money-laundering controls, according to a WSJ report in May.
The report had also said the bank had reported the problem to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the agency was probing the problem.
Wells Fargo, smarting from a prolonged sales scandal in its retail banking business, has been a subject of a number of regulatory probes.
Wells Fargo did not immediately comment on the report.
Shares of Wells Fargo were down 1 per cent at $58.40.