Wells Fargo released its retail banking customer activity data for February 2017, and it shows the biggest drop in credit card applications since the bank’s scandal over sham accounts erupted six months ago, according to The Financial Times.
A company press release announced the details of the retail banking data, showing consumer checking account openings fell 3 percent from January and 43 percent from a year ago, while new consumer credit card applications fell 4 percent from January and 55 percent from last year. Since 2016 was a leap year, there was one fewer day in February this year.
“After factoring in day count differences, February trends were generally similar to January’s and were within our expectations,” said Mary Mack, head of Community Banking at Wells Fargo. “It will take time for us to work through the changes we are making in our business, but we remain focused on strengthening our relationships with existing customers and building new ones with potential customers.”
The new data, however, shows that the company could be having difficulty recovering from the credit card scandal that surfaced late last year. Employees trying to meet aggressive internal sales targets applied for about 565,000 cards, as well as $1.5 million deposit accounts, allegedly without receiving customer consent. Those consumers then racked up annual fees and other charges on cards they knew nothing about.
But it’s not all bad news for the bank: Customer loyalty scores rose for the fourth straight month to 57.6 percent. In addition, consumer and small business banking deposits rose one percent from January and six percent from last year.
“Today’s update on retail banking trends is part of our ongoing commitment to transparency,” said Tim Sloan, president and chief executive officer. “In February, we were pleased to see that, in general, our existing customers continued to actively use their accounts and valued their relationships with Wells Fargo. We remain focused on meeting our customers’ financial needs by providing great service and quality products, and we’re pleased that our customer experience survey scores increased for the fourth consecutive month. We will provide our next update on customer activity trends in April.”