(Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co's board is likely to eliminate 2016 bonuses for the bank's top executives following the bogus account scandal, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The board met in late January and discussed withholding bonuses for senior executives, including Chief Executive Timothy Sloan and Chief Financial Officer John Shrewsberry, the WSJ said.

The board is expected to finalize its decision, which could affect annual incentive awards that are paid in cash or stock, in coming weeks.

A Wells Fargo spokesman declined to comment.

In September, the lender agreed to pay a $185 million settlement over its staff opening as many as 2 million accounts without customers' knowledge.

The misconduct, carried out by low-level branch staff to meet internal sales targets, shattered the bank's folksy image, triggered a raft of federal and state investigations and cost former CEO and chairman, John Stumpf, his job.

Sloan was chief operating officer at San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, the third-largest U.S. bank by assets, before he replaced Stumpf.

For the fourth quarter, Wells Fargo reported its fifth straight decline in quarterly profit and said it believed it had reimbursed the customers it needed to in order to comply with at least one of three settlements over the scandal.

(Reporting by Sweta Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)