Wells Fargo executives laid out plans to move beyond the fake accounts scandal during a conference call with roughly 500 senior executives in which the bank said growth in the retail banking business will likely be down.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, citing a recording of the hour-long call, the executives added that moves by some states to curb business with Wells Fargo aren’t impacting the business too much. Chief Financial Officer John Shrewsberry, who was on the call, said the bank’s third-quarter earnings won’t see much of a difference due to some states halting business with the bank, adding that the states’ announcements aren’t “really amounting to much in terms of dollars yet.” The CFO did note that he wouldn’t likely say that to the public. “We probably won’t broadcast that because it might incentivize people to do more, to make it tougher on Wells Fargo, but the storyline is worse than the economics at this point.”
During the conference call, which was led by Wells Fargo Chief Executive John Stumpf and President and Chief Operating Officer Timothy Sloan, the executives warned the woes at the bank would get worse before business improved. Stumpf noted that he visited a number of Wells Fargo branches last week, but that has not helped, noting that net new business in the retail bank “will be down for a while; there’s just no question about that,” reported WSJ.
The paper noted that, in response to a question about the impact the scandal has had on the bank, Sloan pointed to an earnings presentation slated for later this week but did not say more. Sloan noted the bank is still opening more accounts than closing them and that the bank is seeing growth in new checking accounts. Still, the new accounts aren’t as much as a few months earlier.