Citizens Financial Shares Slide After Report Employees Fabricated Customer Meetings

By Ciara Linnane Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Citizens Financial Group Inc. shares took a sharp turn down Wednesday, after a Wall Street Journal report that employees fabricated meetings with customers to meet goals set by the bank. Eleven current and former branch employees told the paper that bankers lied about the number of meetings they were having with customers as part of the company's "Citizens Checkup" program. In some instances, bankers falsified forms to make them look more like records of real meetings. The bank responded by saying it had no data to support those claims and "strict controls and standards" to detect such behavior. Shares of Providence, R.I.-based Citizens were last down 3% and have fallen 4.8% in the year so far, while the S&P 500 has gained more than 5%.

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