CEO: ‘Focused on building a stronger foundation for the company’
CEO Charlie Scharf introduces Wells Fargo’s recently released 2019 Corporate Responsibility Highlights report.
Editor’s note: In his opening letter in the Wells Fargo 2019 Corporate Responsibility Highlights report, CEO Charlie Scharf details the company’s response to the current coronavirus pandemic, along with how Wells Fargo continues to address important environmental, social, and governance challenges. The full report (PDF) highlights the company’s work last year, including how it is contributing meaningful solutions to pressing societal challenges such as climate change and housing affordability.
I was honored to be chosen to lead Wells Fargo because I believe this is an extraordinary company. As we publish this report in the wake of the global COVID-19 health crisis, there has never been a more urgent time than now for us to step up to support our customers, employees, and communities.
As we seek to balance the financial needs of customers with public health, we have taken actions such as implementing new social distancing guidelines across our operations and have instituted temporary closures where needed.
For our customers, we have suspended residential property foreclosure sales, evictions, and involuntary auto repossessions. We are also offering fee waivers, payment deferrals, and other expanded assistance for credit card, auto, mortgage, small business, and personal lending customers who contact the company.
For our employees, we have made several enhancements to our health care, child care, and time away benefits. We have also temporarily suspended new job displacements and provided a one-time cash award to approximately 170,000 U.S. and international employees and additional cash payments to front-line employees whose roles require they come in to the office to serve customers or other employees.
For our communities, the Wells Fargo Foundation is accelerating $175 million in donations to help address food, shelter, small business, and housing stability, as well as to provide help to public health organizations. A full list of actions can be found on our website.
While it is critical that we respond to this global pandemic, we are also focused on building a stronger foundation for the company. Notably, we became a proud signatory of the Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation that was issued by the Business Roundtable in August of this past year. It’s simple and straightforward, and it’s a clear statement that businesses are responsible to a broad set of constituents.
Like many companies, we are taking an active role in addressing important environmental, social, and governance (ESG) challenges, and we are constantly asking ourselves how we can improve these efforts to drive even more positive impact. For example, we believe we have a responsibility to do our part to support the transition to a low-carbon economy and to work with our customers and communities to address the risks of climate change. We are also dedicated to addressing the U.S. housing affordability crisis and committed $1 billion in philanthropic capital to this cause.
I firmly believe we have a great future in front of us. We will continue to move with a sense of urgency as we strive to deliver value to all of our stakeholders.
Charles W. Scharf
Wells Fargo & Company