Wells Fargo sees significant slowdown in account openings

Markets Associated Press

Wells Fargo says customers are significantly pulling back from doing business with the bank, a reverberation of the sales practices scandal that drew a huge fine in September.

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The company said Thursday that new customer account openings fell 44 percent in October from a year earlier. Account closures rose 3 percent from a year earlier. The bank saw a 50 percent drop in credit card applications.

The San Francisco-based bank has been under fire since it was discovered that in order to meet lofty sales goals, employees opened up to 2 million bank and credit card accounts without customer authorization.

Wells has provided monthly reports to investors about its customer traffic. September's data included only part of the impact, so October's data is the first full-picture view of customer reaction.