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Wells Fargo Accused Of Overcharging Clients

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Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) has fired four of its foreign exchange bankers for charging clients with inflated foreign exchange transaction fees, the Wall Street Journal reported.

A conference call in June led by managers in Wells Fargo's foreign-exchange operations revealed that some of the bank's business customers were cheated, according to the WSJ report, citing two employees who were on the call.

An internal review by Wells Fargo showed that out of approximately 300 fee agreements for foreign exchange trades, only about 35 business clients were charged the actual price they had been quoted by Wells Fargo bankers for the currency trades.

Wells Fargo charged at least two to eight times higher than industry standards, according to the WSJ report, citing sources.

The WSJ reported that Wells Fargo has fired four foreign-exchange bankers, while federal investigators have opened their own investigation of the operation.

According to the report, unlike other major banks, Wells Fargo's foreign-exchange bankers were paid bonuses based solely on how much revenue they brought in. However, Wells Fargo said it has started to make changes to the bonus structure earlier this year.

Wells Fargo has already been marred by a scandal after its retail banking segment employees opened more than two million unauthorized bank and credit card accounts over a period of five years and used those fake accounts to charge extra fees from customers.

The bank paid a fine of $185 million for the "widespread illegal" sales practices.

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