Tim Sloan, Wells Fargo’s chief executive officer, believes the embattled bank will recover the growth it lost from its fake account scandal.
In an interview with CNBC, the executive said the company is making “really good changes, not only to fix anything that was broken,” but also through investing in and making changes to the products and services it offers.
“I’m very optimistic and confident that over time we’ll achieve the growth that we’ve seen historically,” he said in the interview, just a few days after the company reported third-quarter earnings per share that came in slightly better than Wall Street predictions. Revenue was shy of the Wall Street analyst consensus, however.
While Sloan was brought on to fix the company, he has faced criticism from some lawmakers who said he and the Wells Fargo board should be fired as news of more scandals have been coming to light since the company was fined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). But, in the interview, the executive shrugged off the criticism.
“I’ve got a responsibility to 268,000 team members, over 72 million customers — that’s who I focus on every day,” Sloan said. “I think I’m the right person to be CEO because of my experience, because of my ability to make change … and because of the optimism and resiliency that I have, and because I have the support of our team.”
While Sloan is upbeat about Wells Fargo’s prospects, some lawmakers are not giving up on getting the board and its leadership ousted as more scandals pile up. In September, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren called again on the Federal Reserve to hold the board accountable. Back in June, the Massachusetts Senator said, in a letter to Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, that the Fed should remove the 12 executives sitting on the board of the beleaguered bank. In the letter, Warren noted the scandal shed light on “severe problems” with Wells’ risk management.
“The fake accounts scandal cost Wells Fargo customers millions of dollars in unauthorized fees and damaged many of their credit scores,” the letter stated. “The scandal also revealed severe problems with the bank’s risk management practices – problems that justify the Federal Reserve’s removal of all responsible board members.”