Earnings

Wells CEO Sees “Reasonable Customer Momentum” Building

Might Wells Fargo be turning a corner with a bit of tailwind from tax reform?

CNBC reported that the company’s CEO, Tim Sloan, speaking at a banking conference held by Goldman Sachs on Dec. 5, said customer interaction with Wells has seen “reasonable momentum” and that the tax reform bill that passed in Washington just days ago could help boost that momentum “a little bit more.”

That momentum comes as economic growth has picked up. As noted elsewhere, the GDP was estimated to have grown by more than three percent in the third quarter.

The CEO also repeated a commitment to trim expenses by $4 billion annually, with an eye toward achieving that run rate by the end of 2019.

As widely reported, the bank is still struggling with the fallout from a series of scandals, ranging from “fake account” headlines to other ways in which customers were hurt. In some cases, the bank froze accounts or allegedly charged excess fees.

Last week, it was reported that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)  is considering taking formal enforcement actions against the bank over unethical mortgage lending and auto insurance practices. As noted by The Wall Street Journal, the OCC has said that consumers in both units were harmed. Wells told the WSJ that there is “still work to be done“ amid dedication “to making things right, fixing the problems and building a better bank.”

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