Wells Fargo dismisses consumer lending head Franklin Codel

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Wells Fargo & Co (WFC) has fired its head of consumer lending over an inappropriate interaction with a former team member, the bank said on Friday, the latest bout of upheaval at a lender roiled by scandals over its culture and treatment of customers.

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Codel acted in a manner that was contrary to the company's policies in a communication he had with a former team member regarding that employee's termination, Wells Fargo said.

A permanent successor to Codel is expected to be announced by the end of the year. In the interim, the heads of consumer lending's four main lines of business will report to Wells Fargo Chief Executive Tim Sloan.

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The company said Codel, who was senior executive vice president of consumer lending for just over a year, was not dismissed over the business's operations or its sales practices.

As head of consumer lending, Codel was at the brunt of Wells Fargo's recent car loan problems where more than 800,000 people who took car loans from the company were found to have been charged for auto insurance they did not need.

A review of the collateral protection insurance (CPI) program was started in July 2016 and the bank discontinued the program in September, based on the findings.

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The San-Francisco-based bank has been mired in scandal since September last year after government investigators found that employees opened as many as 2 million accounts without customers' knowledge to meet sales targets.

Following last year's scandal, Wells Fargo eliminated sales goals in its retail banking and fired 5,300 people.

Wells Fargo's stock had fallen about 1 percent this year compared with the S&P 500 index's 15.5 percent climb.

(Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Martina D'Couto)