Wells Fargo unveils limited-fee bank accounts ahead of hearings

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Wells Fargo is announcing two new bank accounts that limit fees for consumers ahead of the company's planned congressional hearings in Washington next week.

A checkless account with no overdraft fees, as well as one that includes checks and limits overdraft fees to one per month, will be available by early next year, the San Francisco-based firm said in a statement Tuesday.

Wells Fargo

The announcement comes a week before Chief Executive Charlie Scharf is set to testify in front of the House Financial Services Committee. Wells Fargo Chair Betsy Duke and board member James Quigley will appear for their own hearing the following day.

"This is something that we've really been working on for quite some time," Ed Kadletz, who leads Wells Fargo's deposit products group, said in an interview. "Charlie has brought an energy and a focus to the company to really get after the things that are most important, and so this has been able to bubble to the top."

Wells Fargo has vowed to earn back public trust in the wake of a series of consumer scandals that began with the revelation that branch employees opened millions of potentially fake accounts to hit sales goals. The bank's consumer operation, which has the largest branch network in the country, has slid behind peers in recent years as Wells Fargo retools incentives and products and works through outstanding regulatory issues.

The checkless bank account with no overdraft fees will cost $5 per month, while the account with limited overdraft charges will cost $10 per month. Wells Fargo said Tuesday that it will reach out to existing customers to educate them about the no overdraft-fee account once it becomes available.

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