Wells Fargo fires head of consumer lending

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Wells Fargo has fired Franklin Codel, its head of consumer lending.

The decision stemmed from an interaction Codel had with a former employee about that employee’s termination, according to the company.

Codel acted in a manner that was “contrary to the company’s policies and expectations of its senior leaders,” Wells said in a press release Friday. No additional details were provided.

The termination is effective immediately. In the release, Wells emphasized that the decision did not involve business operations, nor did it pertain to sales practices.

“Difficult as this situation is, the decision reflects our commitment to our values and culture and to executive accountability,” CEO Tim Sloan said in the release.

Wells said it expects to announce a successor to Codel by the end of the year. In the interim, the four business lines that reported to Codel — home lending, dealer services, personal and small-business insurance and personal lending — will report to Sloan. Michael Devito, who leads mortgage production, was named interim head of the home lending unit, too.

The firing is the latest setback in an already rocky year-plus for Wells’ retail unit. The company last fall agreed to pay $190 million to settle charges that employees created more than 2 million unauthorized customer accounts. That figure was increased to 3.5 million in August, following an external review.

This summer the company also revealed problems with the way it charged customers for auto insurance.

In the release Friday, Sloan said that he expects a smooth transition in the months ahead.

“We have a strong team in Consumer Lending, and I am fully confident that the transition will be smooth and that its businesses will continue to operate normally in serving our customers,” Sloan said.

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Consumer banking Crime and misconduct Enforcement actions Wells Fargo