Security & Fraud

In Show Of Support, Wells Fargo CEO, Chairman Buy Shares

Wells Fargo Chief Executive Tim Sloan and Chairman Stephen Sanger combined purchased 100,000 shares of the bank’s stock as it aims to crawl its way out from the fake account scandal of last year.

According to a report in Reuters, which cited a regulatory filing, reported Sanger purchased 58,342 shares of Wells Fargo, while Sloan, who replaced former chief executive John Stumpf, bought 39,000 shares of the embattled bank. Wells Fargo is gearing up to face what could be a raucous annual shareholder meeting on April 25. Proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis recommended shareholders vote against six Wells Fargo directors, while Institutional Shareholder Services said investors should vote against 12 of 15 directors. Wells Fargo fired back against the proxy advisory firms, with its board saying in a recent statement, “The extreme and unprecedented ISS voting recommendation on directors fails to recognize the active engagement of the Board and the substantial actions it has already taken to strengthen oversight and increase accountability at all levels of Wells Fargo, including important improvements to corporate governance. We strongly disagree with the unwarranted recommendation by ISS to vote against 12 of Wells Fargo’s 15 directors.”

The letter from the board, which was issued on April 10, came a few days after Wells Fargo’s Sloan issued an open letter in which he discussed “progress that I want to share with you” in the wake of the well-publicized settlement over the bank’s retail sales practices; many of those initiatives were previously reported. Among those achievements, as noted by the executive, and to reiterate is that the company has refunded $3.2 million to retail and small business accounts, totaling 130,000 in number. Wells Fargo has been under the spotlight ever since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined it last year after uncovering years of sale people opening fake accounts at the bank to reach their sales goals.

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