In Wells Fargo Scandal, the Buck Stopped Well Short

Wells Fargo is trying to clean up the mess created by its high-pressure sales culture, which drove employees to open millions of unauthorized accounts in the names of customers. Pledging accountability, the bank is paying restitution to customers who were charged for these sham accounts, reviewing its process controls, and — as it announced Tuesday — eliminating sales goals for its retail bank products.

In connection with the “widespread illegal practices,” Wells Fargo has also fired 5,300 employees and managers, with one notable exception: the executive in charge.

Instead of bearing any responsibility for this scandal, Carrie Tolstedt, the divisional senior vice president for community banking who supervised the 6,000 retail branches where the wrongdoing took place, is retiring, taking with her millions in stock and options.

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