Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) combined corporate payments and some consumer-banking operations with the technology-innovations group, creating a unit run by the former leader of consumer lending, Avid Modjtabai.
As head of the Payments, Virtual Solutions and Innovation unit, Modjtabai will report to Chief Operating Officer Tim Sloan, according to a statement Monday from the San Francisco-based bank that also disclosed two promotions and other management changes.
The new business brings together seven leaders responsible for operations including technology innovation, consumer cards, deposit products and Treasury management. Two of the managers — head of deposit products Ed Kadletz and Jim Smith, who runs virtual operations — are being moved from community banking to the new group.
“I have not seen and am not aware of another bank that has made the decision to combine payments and virtual solutions and innovation,” Sloan said in a telephone interview. Wells Fargo is “connecting even better than we had been how we’re thinking about mobile and online solutions that are within that payment relationship which is so important to customers.”
Sloan’s company, which has been reeling from a scandal involving potentially millions of bogus customer accounts, is making the organizational change as fintech becomes increasingly crucial to the success of big banks.
The nation’s top lenders have been boosting their spending on technology as competition ramps up to offer more innovative products for both consumers and businesses.
Authorities including the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined Wells Fargo a total of $185 million on Sept. 8 for possibly opening about 2 million deposit and credit-card accounts without authorization from customers. The debacle escalated over the past month, with Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf appearing twice before congressional leaders and giving up more than $40 million in compensation.