Wells Fargo says account openings fall in November

Features Reuters

  • Copyright Reuters 2016

    (Copyright Reuters 2016)

  • A Wells Fargo Bank is shown in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S., September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake

    A Wells Fargo Bank is shown in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S., September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake (Copyright Reuters 2016)

Wells Fargo & Co reported another decline in monthly consumer account openings, indicating that the bank is having trouble rebuilding its reputation after a sales scandal.

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The bank agreed in September to pay regulators $185 million to settle charges that its staff opened as many as 2 million accounts without customers' knowledge.

Wells Fargo said on Friday consumer checking account openings fell 9 percent in November from the previous month, and were down 41 percent from a year earlier.

The bank started reporting monthly figures on retail banking activity last moth as part of an effort to win back the trust of investors. Account openings fell 27 percent in October from September.

"In the near term, we still have a lot of work to do to rebuild trust," Mary Mack, head of Wells Fargo's community banking business, said on a call with analysts.

Mack added that while the numbers still show weakness, she expects an improvement as the bank focuses on customer service and announces a new compensation plan in January.

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The figures released on Friday also showed fewer customer interactions and a drop in debit card transactions in November.

(Reporting by Nikhil Subba and Dan Freed in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)