Sloan: ‘The goal is to return our company to greatness’
CEO Tim Sloan delivered the following prepared remarks in a companywide address from Des Moines, Iowa, on Nov. 10, 2016.
Good morning everyone.
I can’t tell you how pleased I am to be here today with all of you.
This is my first CEO Town Hall, and we have a lot to share and we look forward to hearing much from you.
In fact, these past few weeks I have been meeting with team members across the country, and the best part of the experience has been your feedback — and your offers to help.
So thank you! Thank you for being here today and for tuning in by webcast and Team TV.
Today we will:
- Recognize some folks in the audience.
- We’ll talk about our newest Wells Fargo History Museum, which opened this morning in Des Moines.
- We’ll have a brief business update, including the latest on our efforts to rebuild trust in Wells Fargo.
- Then I’ll close my comments with an important subject — our EthicsLine. We have heard your concerns and I want to describe how we are addressing them.
- Finally, several members of our Operating Committee — Franklin Codel, Hope Hardison, and Mary Mack — will join me on stage for a Q&A with all of you.
Let’s get started by acknowledging why we’re in Des Moines today.
- We have more than 14,000 team members in the Des Moines area — our third-largest workforce.
- Wells Fargo is Des Moines’s largest employer, employing 1 in 24 workers.
- We opened our first Wells Fargo office on Walnut Street in 1897.
- Today, Des Moines is headquarters for our Wells Fargo Consumer Lending business, which is headed by Franklin Codel.
“We want all of our stakeholders to know how we’re making things right with our customers, fixing problems in our culture and operations, and building a better bank for the future.”
I also want to acknowledge the pain Des Moines is experiencing because of last week’s terrible tragedy.
The loss of two dedicated police officers, Anthony Beminio and Justin Martin, has been a terrible blow to the community, and we share your sorrow.
I would ask you to please continue to keep the Beminio and Martin families in your thoughts and prayers.
To show our support, Wells Fargo is donating $50,000 to aid the families of the fallen officers.
The entire community of Des Moines has been and will continue to be in our hearts as you recover.
I cannot visit Des Moines without recognizing an Iowa and Wells Fargo institution — Donnie Rodgers.
- Donnie started his career 70 years ago, as a teller at the Community National Bank in Knoxville, Iowa.
- Today, he’s 90 years old, and reports to work each day. He’s our most tenured branch team member, greeting customers as a lobby leader.
- A favorite Donnie quote: “I start with people and their lives first, and the banking and business come after that.”
Donnie, we are grateful for your service. You have represented the stagecoach for nearly seven decades!
Please join me in congratulating Donnie, Iowa’s “Mr. Knoxville.
Wells Fargo History Museum in Des Moines
This morning we opened the new Des Moines Wells Fargo History Museum with Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, and Mayor Frank Cownie.
Being a student of history, I love our museums. One fact you may not know:
- More than 740,000 people visit Wells Fargo museums each year.
Our newest museum will offer an Iowa perspective, since Iowa has long been a connection point for the U.S. — geographically, in agriculture, industry, tradition, and innovation.
So, we look forward to our newest museum being a part of Des Moines’ and Iowa’s culture.
As we touch on the role of history, let’s take a moment to recognize the role veterans have played in our history, especially since tomorrow is Veterans Day.
I am proud of Wells Fargo’s commitment to serving veterans.
Some 2016 highlights include:
- The VeteranWINSSM grant program, which helps homeless veterans with housing and residential rehabilitation. Next week, we are awarding $100,000 to the program (on Nov. 15).
- The Veteran Employment Transition Program, which helps veterans find internships within Wells Fargo Securities.
I had the privilege of meeting with this group a few months ago and they are very, very impressive. Because the program has been so successful, we are expanding it next year to more Wholesale banking lines and the Wealth & Investment Management group.
- A $1 million donation to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling®. We have donated $3.5 million to this organization over the past three years, helping more than 15,000 military service members.
- And just this morning, in Greensboro, North Carolina, we donated a home to Daniel Miller, who was wounded while serving with the U.S. Marines in Afghanistan.
- Since 2012, we have donated more than 300 homes, valued at over $50 million, to veterans in all 50 states, and I had the privilege of personally donating a home at the Rose Parade two years ago. It was a very emotional experience.
Of course, we have more than 8,400 veterans working in our company today.
Can I please ask the veterans in our audience today, and those of you who have family members who are vets, to stand or raise your hands so that we can acknowledge you.
Please join me in recognizing them and all the Wells Fargo veterans and members of veteran families who are watching today.
Let me take a moment to provide an update on our business performance:
- Solid third quarter reflecting the benefits of our diversified business model and your outstanding service of customers, especially during these challenging times.
- 16th consecutive quarter of net income greater than $5 billion. You made it happen.
- Record levels of loans, deposits, and investment balances.
- Wholesale Banking had its third-best quarter ever.
- And Wealth & Investment Management had its best quarter ever.
- We have many of our Home Lending team members here today. Third quarter mortgage results were terrific, with residential originations at $70 billion, up $15 billion, or 27 percent, from a year ago.
- Although expenses increased during the quarter, credit quality improved and our core building blocks of long-term success remained strong.
- We also returned a net $3.2 billion to shareholders.
Update on stakeholder engagement
As you heard me discuss in Charlotte two weeks ago, part of our program to rebuild trust is increasing engagement with all our stakeholders, and that includes our team members.
We want all of our stakeholders to know how we’re making things right with our customers, fixing problems in our culture and operations, and building a better bank for the future.
Just since our Charlotte event, we have:
- Had our Operating Committee launch a “Conversations” tour, meeting team members across the country, as they share our progress and listen to your feedback. In fact, John Shrewsberry (Chief Financial Officer) held one yesterday in Phoenix and Perry Pelos (head of Commercial Banking) will hold one this week in Seattle.
- Another stop on this tour will happen next week on Friday, Nov. 18, when I host a live Team Moments conversation. Please watch Teamworks next week for more details.
- Contacted thousands of retail and small business deposit and credit card customers to ensure they still want the products they may have received without their authorization.
- Met with investment analysts in Boston to introduce them to Mary Mack, our new head of Community Banking.
- Developed responses to hundreds of inquiries from elected officials on Capitol Hill.
- Written to hundreds of our nonprofit partners, apologizing to them about our challenges in retail banking.
To learn more about the actions we are taking to rebuild trust in Wells Fargo, I encourage you to read my Charlotte speech or to visit the “Settlements Resources for Team Members” page. Both are on Teamworks.
We also have friends who are showing their support for Wells Fargo.
“On behalf of our entire leadership team, I want to apologize for any concerns that may have resulted from weaknesses in our EthicsLine.”
Three weeks ago, Sunset Development, a commercial real estate customer in the Bay Area, took out an ad in The Wall Street Journal thanking us for supporting them for 70 years.
Two weeks ago, United Way ran a full-page advertisement in USA Today thanking Wells Fargo team members for their “generosity, dedication, and expertise.”
United Way’s president and CEO, Brian Gallagher, even did a Q&A interview for Wells Fargo Stories. You can also find it on Teamworks.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t celebrate the incredible results of this year’s Community Support Campaign.
Team members contributed $98.87 million, both through Community Support Campaign pledges and other donations and pledges made directly to charitable organizations throughout the year.
Team members also registered 318,000 volunteer hours, an increase of 18,000 hours from 2015.
Thank you to everyone! I am constantly amazed at your generosity of time and talent.
Updated on advertising campaign
How many baseball fans do we have in the audience? Cubs?
Did you watch the World Series? If you did, you probably saw our new advertising campaign, which we launched just two weeks ago to show the world the steps we have taken to make things right for our customers.
We’re pleased with the initial results, but I promise you this won’t be the end of our advertising outreach. Before the year is over, we will have more actions to talk about that will be specifically designed for our customers. They, along with our team members, are among the top stakeholder groups we have prioritized around our efforts to restore trust in Wells Fargo.
More to come in the weeks ahead, so stay tuned.
Update on EthicsLine
Now, I’d like to discuss our EthicsLine.
As we work to rebuild trust, we need more than ever for all team members to feel comfortable speaking up and raising concerns. It’s always been important to offer multiple ways to do that — talking to your manager or another manager in your area, calling HR Advisor, or contacting the confidential EthicsLine. And whichever path you choose, you need to be able to trust that your concern will get safely into the hands of the right people who can look into it, act on it, and ensure you are protected throughout the process.
We’ve heard very concerning reports that there have been cases where the EthicsLine did not serve as the safe haven it is intended to be, and also heard allegations that some team members experienced retaliation after having contacted the EthicsLine.
“When we set our mind to something, we can accomplish great things. I’ve seen this many times before, and I know we will do it again.”
On behalf of our entire leadership team, I want to apologize for any concerns that may have resulted from weaknesses in our EthicsLine.
These concerns and allegations are simply unacceptable to me.
So let me share the actions we are taking.
We’ve conducted an end-to-end review of our EthicsLine and have made changes to the review process in consultation with our internal audit team. That review and these changes are being validated by a third-party, independent expert.
I want to be very clear in assuring you that you can have confidence in calling the EthicsLine and your call will be handled appropriately.
We are looking into any and all allegations of retaliation, and we will take appropriate actions based on what we find. We are being extremely comprehensive and have again engaged outside independent experts to help us with this effort.
So far, we’ve found that the majority of cases were handled appropriately. However, there are some instances where we have questions, so we are doing further investigation of those matters. If we find complaints were mishandled, then we will take action to make it right.
I want to be clear: retaliation is unacceptable. It’s against our policy, and it is totally unacceptable to me personally. It will not be tolerated at Wells Fargo.
Ethics & integrity survey
Last month we also launched our first Ethics & Integrity Survey.
More than 7,000 team members responded, telling us how they experienced ethics and integrity in our workplace.
They identified areas for improvement. We will use these insights to inform future plans for strengthening our culture of ethics and integrity.
Results from the survey will be ready later this month. We will share highlights with all of you.
This kind of outreach is another way for us to listen to the views of our team members and work together to make things better.
Team member sentiment survey
We have also started a broader team member sentiment survey.
We conducted the first survey between Oct. 21 and 24. We extended the survey invitation to 10,000 randomly selected team members, of whom 2,400 participated.
The survey specifically looks at a few different areas:
- How team members are feeling. Are they planning to stay and continue building their career at Wells Fargo?
- How confident are team members that leadership, their management, and the company are headed in the right direction?
- Are the communications being delivered to team members resonating?
- Do team members feel that our Vision & Values and core cultural principles are being honored?
This new sentiment survey is one of several ways we are creating ways to hear from team members, and we will be making the results of this survey available to all of you in the coming weeks. We want to make sure — especially in our current operating environment — that we are never far from understanding how our team members are doing, and that we are constantly receiving their input so that we can continue to improve.
How team members can help
As I’ve traveled the country over the last few weeks to meet with team members, I’ve heard from many of you that you want to help.
I have to admit that those comments from our team members are part of what keeps me going every day.
Here’s how you can help:
- First, and most importantly, take care of our customers. They are the reason Wells Fargo exists. Serving our customers and helping them succeed financially is our No. 1 priority, whether you are working in a branch, helping customers on the phone, working in our back office functions, or working on our executive team.
- Second, take care of yourselves and each other. We all need to be more aware of our colleagues and their needs, especially as we work through this time of self-reflection and transition.
- Third, be open about our situation with colleagues, with family and friends. They are stakeholders, too.
- Fourth, we can all continue to be guided by our values: People as a Competitive Advantage, Ethics, What’s Right for Customers, Diversity & Inclusion, and Leadership.
- Similarly, our Six Priorities continue to serve us well: Putting Customers First, Growing Revenue, Managing Expenses, Living our Vision & Values, Connecting with Communities and Stakeholders, and Managing Risk.
Today, I’m announcing that we are adding a seventh priority: Rebuilding Trust.
Adding this as a seventh priority underscores that the job of rebuilding trust in Wells Fargo will be a long-term effort — one requiring our commitment, patience and perseverance.
The goal for all of this is to return our company to greatness. And we will.
When we set our mind to something, we can accomplish great things. I’ve seen this many times before, and I know we will do it again.
We will make it through this current situation, creating a better bank and company as a result.
Thank you for being here today and for all of your hard work and partnership.