Regulation

Wells Fargo CEO Downplays Regulation Woes To Investors

Wells Fargo & Co.’s Chief Executive Tim Sloan said at an investor conference Tuesday (Feb. 13) that the asset cap imposed on it by the Federal Reserve hasn’t changed anything.

According to a report in Reuters covering comments Sloan made at the investor conference, he said the bank is open for business and that nothing much has changed for the company. During the conference, Sloan was asked by Credit Suisse analyst Susan Katzke about the Fed’s action to limit how much the company can make, as well as hits to its reputation in light of the fake account scandal and other wrongdoings at the national bank — but Sloan stuck to his previous statements that the bank’s business is stable and employees are happy to work there. “There’s a lot of different metrics that you look at, but they’re all pointing to a slow but steady recovery,” he said, without giving any specifics. “It’s never as fast as I would like, but it’s absolutely occurring.” The bank is aiming to get its capital levels to around 10 percent during the next two or three years, noted Reuters.

As previously reported in February, the Federal Reserve said it will not allow the bank to grow in size or scope beyond the slightly less than $2 trillion on the books, in effect curbing asset growth beyond 2017 — a limit that will remain in place until “sufficient improvements” are made that address “widespread consumer abuses.” As has been widely reported, the company has been under fire for opening accounts without customer permission and had also signed consumers up for auto insurance they neither asked for nor needed. The move is unprecedented, as the Fed has never before placed limits on how large a company can get.  Wells can still lend and take deposits.

In reference to corporate governance, Wells has two months to boost board oversight and compliance efforts. Three board members are on track to be replaced by April and a fourth by the end of 2018.

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