Lawmakers: Wells Fargo sales scandal may extend to St. Louis-based brokerage unit

Wells Fargo & Co. fired hundreds of brokerage employees for improper sales practices, three senators said Thursday, widening the scope of a scandal that the fourth-largest U.S. bank has so far characterized as a retail banking problem.

In a letter to Wells Fargo Chief Executive Tim Sloan, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; Ron Wyden, D-Ore.; and Robert Menendez, D-N.J., questioned the bank’s disclosures about those employees’ dismissals in required regulatory filings.

That’s the first indication that customers of the brokerage business, St. Louis-based Wells Fargo Advisors, may also have been affected.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which regulates brokerages and securities dealers, told congressional staff that it had received dismissal documents known as Form U5s for more than 600 of those fired Wells Fargo employees. However, only 207 of them contained details indicating they had been fired for practices that led to bogus accounts.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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