Editor’s note: CEO Tim Sloan sent this companywide message following the April 10, 2017, release of the findings of the Wells Fargo Board of Directors’ independent investigation.
We have reached an important moment in our journey to rebuild trust with all of our Wells Fargo stakeholders. Today, the independent directors of Wells Fargo’s Board of Directors released the findings of an investigation into retail sales practices in our Community Bank.
The report explains the operating practices at our company, and sales performance pressures within our Community Bank, that allowed the unacceptable retail sales practices that were the subject of the settlements we reached in September with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the City Attorney of Los Angeles.
“We have reached an important moment in our journey.”
The Board’s full report and the company’s news release are available on wellsfargo.com.
The Operating Committee and I have read the report, and we believe it is appropriately thorough, candid, and tough. For all of us who care about Wells Fargo, the Board’s report is a sobering document to read because it does not portray our company at its best. It is clear from the Board’s investigation that we had an incentive program and high-pressure sales culture in our Community Bank that, in many cases over time, drove behavior that was inappropriate and inconsistent with our values. Our leadership took too long to understand the seriousness and scope of the problem, and as a result, the actions we took over the years to address it weren’t adequate. This is not the Wells Fargo we aspire to be.
I assure you that the Operating Committee and I will continue to study the report and keep these findings top of mind as we lead the work to better Wells Fargo for our customers, investors, communities, and you, our team members.
“For all of us who care about Wells Fargo, the Board’s report is a sobering document to read.”
I also encourage you to read the Team News that our chairman, Steve Sanger, has sent to all team members today. In it, Steve expressed support for our management team and confidence in the progress we are making.
Indeed, we have made much progress since the September settlements, thanks to the tireless efforts of so many of you. We’ve changed leadership; held executives accountable; changed how we compensate and lead our retail bankers; centralized key control functions, such as risk management and human resources; and taken steps to promote a workplace where team members are encouraged to raise concerns. We also have launched our own management-commissioned, third-party reviews of our culture and practices. You can read more about the steps we’ve taken in our interactive timeline, which is posted on Wells Fargo Stories.
The journey to restore trust takes time, as we know from other companies with great histories — like Wells Fargo — that have encountered significant challenges. We are working through one of those moments, and today’s Board report is the latest catalyst for us to continue moving forward.
“While we have more work to do, we firmly believe we are on the right path.”
I know you will get questions about today’s news from customers or friends and family. Here are some key points to share:
- The independent Board report is an important step on our journey to rebuild trust.
- It provides another valuable opportunity to understand and learn from past mistakes — and to move forward to deliver a better experience for customers and team members.
- We have taken significant actions to date and made important progress to make things right, fix the problems, and build a better Wells Fargo.
- While we have more work to do, we firmly believe we are on the right path.
Thank you for your many contributions and for your continued work on behalf of our customers’ financial success.