The allegations follow by a year and a half the bogus-account scandal that brought down former CEO John Stumpf and led to sanctions by the Federal Reserve that prevent Wells Fargo from increasing assets past $1.95 trillion until it improves internal oversight.

Share story

Wells Fargo & Co.’s board is looking into whether its wealth-management business gave customers improper recommendations on 401(k) rollovers and other products.

The review, which is in response to inquiries by federal government agencies, “is assessing whether there have been inappropriate referrals or recommendations, including with respect to rollovers for 401(k) plan participants, certain alternative investments, or referrals of brokerage customers to the company’s investment and fiduciary-services business,” the bank said in a regulatory filing.

The Justice Department told Wells Fargo to investigate claims of sales abuses by whistleblowers, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The bank hired Shearman & Sterling to look into the question, which relates to pushing products and services on customers that generate the most compensation for employees rather than finding the best options for clients, the paper said.

The allegations follow by a year and a half the bogus-account scandal that brought down former CEO John Stumpf and led to sanctions by the Federal Reserve that prevent Wells Fargo from increasing assets past $1.95 trillion until it improves internal oversight.

“To date, we haven’t found any sales practices-related type issues in wealth management,” CEO Tim Sloan said. “But that could change.”