Shareholders angry over fake accounts disrupt Wells Fargo meeting

Image source, DAVID MCNEW/Getty
Image caption, Wells Fargo has also faced protests over its funding of the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline

Wells Fargo, the US bank under fire for creating fake customer accounts, faced angry shareholders at its annual meeting in Florida on Tuesday.

Board members up for review kept their seats, but received much less shareholder support than is typical.

The firm said it knows it must do more to win back public trust.

Board chair Stephen Sanger said: "Stockholders... have sent the entire board a clear message of dissatisfaction."

"The board has heard that message."

Wells Fargo has been in turmoil since revelations that the firm created more than two million fake accounts to meet sales goals and ignored or punished whistleblowers.

The scandal was the latest example of misconduct in the US banking sector.

It cost more than 5,000 lower level employees their jobs and led to the resignation of former chief executive John Stumpf.

The bank's directors, who receive hundreds of thousands of dollars for their oversight duties, escaped a similar fate on Tuesday, despite a contentious meeting that saw some shareholders removed from the meeting.

However, some may face a no-confidence vote.

Except for new nominees, board members received support from less than 81% of stockholders. At least one received as little as 53% of the votes.

At most major companies, director support averages around 95% of votes cast, according to pay consulting firm Semler Brossy.

Other stockholder proposals, on issues such as breaking up the bank, commissioning a report on its sales practices, and the gender pay gap, failed.

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