As Wells Fargo Pays Up, Exec Exits With $125M
CEO says Carrie Tolstedt is 'a champion for customers'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2016 9:48 AM CDT
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A man passes by a Wells Fargo bank office in Oakland, Calif.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

(Newser) – Wells Fargo has been fined $185 million over a scam that involved employees opening phony accounts for customers who were forced to pay fees, but the executive in charge of those employees will take home almost as much. Carrie Tolstedt, former head of community banking, will receive $124.6 million in shares, options, and restricted stock when she abandons ship at the end of the year. The bank announced her retirement in July, before the scam was revealed, reports Fortune. It can reclaim pay from executives linked to wrongful behavior but says it won’t do that with Tolstedt; it isn't clear if she was aware of the scam, though she ran the retail banking and credit card divisions from 2008.

A Wells Fargo rep tells CNBC that community banking executives worked to "significantly strengthen" the bank's "training, monitoring, oversight and compensation structure" to combat the accounts scam. The bank says her retirement was a "personal decision" while CEO John Stumpf praised Tolstedt in July as "one of our most valuable Wells Fargo leaders, a standard-bearer of our culture, a champion for our customers, and a role model for responsible, principled and inclusive leadership." In 2014, Wells Fargo cited "strong cross-sell ratios" in justifying Tolstedt's $1.7 million salary. She took home $9 million last year as a reward for "continued growth in primary checking customers," reports CNNMoney.