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California Quietly Lifts Ban on Working With Wells Fargo

  • Treasurer, who took office in January, reverses 2016 sanctions
  • Bank has shown that ‘rehabilitation is underway,’ staffer says
Pedestrians walk past a Wells Fargo & Co. bank branch in Los Angeles, California.

Pedestrians walk past a Wells Fargo & Co. bank branch in Los Angeles, California.

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg
Updated on

Even before Tim Sloan stepped down as the chief executive officer of scandal-stung Wells Fargo & Co., the bank had already gotten back into the good graces of the biggest U.S. state.

California Treasurer Fiona Ma in mid-February quietly removed sanctions put in place by her predecessor that kept the bank from underwriting the state’s bonds and barred California from investing in Wells Fargo’s debt. In 2016, then-Treasurer John Chiang approved the steps to punish the San Francisco-based bank after it admitted that employees opened bogus accounts in customers’ names to meet sales goals.