May 17, 2018 / 1:53 PM / 6 months ago

Wells Fargo employees altered business customers' information: WSJ

FILE PHOTO: A Wells Fargo logo is seen at the SIBOS banking and financial conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo

(Reuters) - Some employees in a Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) unit that handles business banking improperly changed information on documents related to corporate customers, the Wall street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Wells Fargo’s shares were down 1.4 percent in early trading.

The employees in Wells Fargo’s so-called wholesale unit, which is separate from its retail bank, added or altered information without customers’ knowledge, the Journal reported.

The information added varied from social security numbers to addresses to dates of birth for people associated with business-banking clients, the WSJ reported.

The incident happened in 2017 and early 2018 as Wells Fargo was trying to meet a deadline to comply with a regulatory consent order related to the bank’s anti-money-laundering controls, the report said.

Wells Fargo became aware of the behavior in recent months from employees, according to the Journal.

The bank has reported the problem to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the agency is probing the problem, the WSJ said, citing a person familiar with the matter.

The bank, smarting from a prolonged sales scandal in its retail banking business, is still leading to probes by regulators.

Wells Fargo did not immediately comment on the matter.

Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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