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Perspective on Sept. 8 settlement announcement

A message from John Stumpf, Chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo & Company.

September 8, 2016

The following message from CEO John Stumpf was emailed to all Wells Fargo team members on Sept. 8, 2016.


Today we are announcing settlements with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Office of the Los Angeles City Attorney over alleged sales practices. The news will be widely reported, and I want to be sure you hear from me on where we stand and why we are taking these steps.

Specifically with today’s settlements, we have agreed to pay penalties and agreed to an independent review of our sales practices.

Our entire culture is centered on doing what is right for our customers. However, at Wells Fargo, when we make mistakes, we are open about it, we take responsibility, and we take action. Today’s agreements are consistent with these beliefs.

Prior to these settlements, we completed an extensive review by a third-party consulting firm going back into 2011. The review included consumer and small business retail banking deposit accounts and unsecured credit cards opened during the period reviewed. Based on this review, we have refunded $2.6 million of fees associated with products customers may not have requested, averaging about $25 per account. If we learn of any additional customers who require refunds, we will make those refunds promptly.

We also have made improvements to our sales practices, enhanced our training, and made significant investments in monitoring and controls to further ensure customers receive only the products they want. At Wells Fargo, relationships with our customers and our passion for doing the right thing are essential to our success, and they have been part of our company’s culture for more than 160 years. Every day, we work to earn our customers’ trust and provide products and services that help them succeed financially.

Should you get questions from customers, family members, or friends about today’s news, here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Wells Fargo’s culture is committed to the best interests of our customers, providing them with only the products they want and value. We also are committed to having a supportive, caring, and ethical environment for team members. We regret and take full responsibility for the incidents in which customers received a product they did not request, as that is inconsistent with the values and culture we strive to live up to every day.
  • We take this issue seriously and have made fundamental changes over the past three years to ensure that customers receive only the products and services they want and value, and customer satisfaction is high.
  • We also have made substantial investments in additional monitoring and control systems and enhanced team member training.
  • Our commitment to our customers, team members, and all of our stakeholders is to take every opportunity to reinforce the values and principles of always putting our customers first.

As you know, every Wells Fargo team member is expected to adhere to the highest possible standards of ethics and business conduct, which are spelled out in our Code of Ethics. If you ever see activity that is inconsistent with our Code of Ethics, please report it immediately to your manager, HR Advisor, or our anonymous EthicsLine.

I have always believed that Wells Fargo’s unique culture sets us apart, and all of our actions together keep Wells Fargo strong and vibrant. This includes the actions we take when issues arise. So, as difficult as today’s news is, this is an opportunity to recommit ourselves to our customers, doing all that we can to put their interests first.

Thank you for your commitment to satisfying our customers’ financial needs and helping them succeed financially.

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