Wells Fargo & Co. took further steps this week to restructure its retail-banking business, even as the firm continues digging into the causes of its sales-practices scandal, according to employees and memos reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Some senior executives within the retail bank were demoted, according to one memo sent to employees Tuesday. This followed the firing in recent weeks of other executives as Wells Fargo continues to address the scandal that erupted last fall after it emerged that employees opened as many as 2.1 million accounts without customers’ knowledge.
Mary Mack, who took over the embattled retail-banking unit in July, wrote in a memo Tuesday that she was reorganizing groups within the business to expand its focus on roughly 6,000 branches across the U.S. The retail bank oversees about 78,000 employees and serves around 40 million retail-banking customers.
Ms. Mack wrote in the memo, reviewed by the Journal, that while the bank has taken a number of steps to rebuild trust with customers and employees, there is still more work to do. That includes “changes in leadership and how our organization is structured,” she wrote.
Wells Fargo sent a separate memo Tuesday to some employees alerting them that an independent consulting firm likely will contact several hundred employees about the sales-practices issues, according to the memo reviewed by the Journal.
The consulting firm is reviewing the bank’s controls around sales practices to try to determine the root cause of the issues. The bank is having this done as part of the regulatory consent orders it entered into in September.
Meanwhile, the bank’s board is continuing its own investigation into the scandal. It will share results before Wells Fargo’s annual shareholder meeting April 25.
In recent weeks, Ms. Mack has met with senior retail-banking executives and hinted at changes to the business that were detailed in Tuesday’s memo, according to people who attended them. As part of these, two of the retail unit’s top three employees,…