What kind of bank will Wells Fargo be?

WELLS FARGO has reinvented itself before. In a vault beneath the bank’s headquarters in San Francisco is an archive of papers and objects from the 1860s, when the company’s stagecoaches criss-crossed America delivering packages. Advertising posters tout the security of their wagons, thanks to the sharp-shooting skills of the marksmen that accompanied them. As first the railroads, then the telegram and later a government-run delivery service threatened the survival of the firm its bosses adapted, using customers’ trust in their brand to expand their banking business.

Charlie Scharf, who took over as the bank’s chief executive on October 21st, must transform Wells once again. He comes from BNY Mellon, a smaller bank based in New York. It is rare for a giant lender to pick an outsider to run it. The bosses of America’s other largest banks—JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs—are seasoned insiders.

But these are unusual times for Wells. The bank has spent three years trying to cleanse itself of scandal. In 2016 it was revealed that millions of spoof accounts had been opened by more than 5,000 employees. Further infractions involving home and auto loans have since come to light. Regulators have slapped penalties on the bank, the most onerous of which was capping its assets at $1.95trn...

via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

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