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Feds 'tightening the straitjacket' around Wells Fargo

Buffett: Wells Fargo is 'a great bank that made a terrible mistake'

All of a sudden, U.S. authorities are taking a tougher stance on scandal-ridden Wells Fargo.

A key Wells Fargo (WFC) regulator has quietly placed new restrictions on the bank that allows the government to reject the hiring of senior executives, ban the payments of "golden parachutes" to managers who leave, and also closely review any branch openings and closures.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which regulates the nation's banks, did not explain in its 5:30 p.m. ET announcement last Friday why it decided to clamp down specifically on Wells Fargo.

The move represents a reversal by the OCC, which previously granted Wells Fargo a waiver from these restrictions. That free pass was given as part of the September 8 settlement over the bank's creation of as many as 2 million fake accounts.

The timing of the OCC decision is quite unusual and raising eyebrows. Veteran bank analyst Mike Mayo of CSLA called the situation a "headscratcher."

"It looks like the regulators are tightening the straitjacket around Wells Fargo," Mayo told CNNMoney.

In a statement, Wells Fargo said it will "comply" with the new restrictions.

"This will not inhibit our ability to execute our strategy, rebuild...


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