Wells Fargo Acted Like a ‘Mafia’ to Suppress Internal Critics, Former Executive Said

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A former top Wells Fargo & Co. executive in London said the lender had a flawed compliance culture and executives acted like a mafia to suppress internal critics, according to a recorded phone call submitted to a U.K. court.

Alicia Reyes was chief executive of Wells Fargo’s European investment bank. She left the bank in January 2020 and criticized the lender in an April 2020 telephone call with a former Wells Fargo contract worker who is suing for unfair dismissal after he raised concerns internally about compliance failings in the U.K.

“It’s like a mafia, literally,” Ms. Reyes said during the call. “This place is just a scheme. There’s no intention of actually solving problems or building things. There’s just smoke and mirrors and a coverup.”

“The pile of regulatory problems that they have is so large,” Ms. Reyes continued. “There are much bigger issues that they are also sweeping under the carpet.”

Ms. Reyes declined to comment.

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