Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan said his company continues to review its practices a year after a major sales scandal blew up, as the firm seeks out “every area in need of improvement.”
Sloan, speaking Tuesday at an industry conference in New York, touted progress Wells has made since agreeing last September to $185 million in fines over unauthorized customer accounts. But he also said the bank is not through trying to find additional instances where customers may have experienced financial harm by Wells’ practices.
“We’ve been very focused on opening every drawer and turning over every rock in the company,” Sloan said, adding that the company is relying on third parties to help with such reviews.
“As we move forward and either begin or continue the remediation in those efforts, there’ll be some headlines,” he said. “We’re far along in our review. I can’t promise you that it’s exactly over with, and I certainly can’t promise perfection in the future. But what I can promise you is that the fundamental changes that we’ve made within the company so far and we’re in the process of executing will limit the likelihood of potential issues like we’ve experienced over the last year from occurring again.”
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Wells Fargo has struggled to move past the Sept. 8, 2017, scandal, an effort made more challenging by revelations last month that the number of potentially fraudulent accounts could total 3.5 million, a nearly 70 percent increase over initial estimates. Wells has also come under scrutiny this summer for its auto-insurance practices, as well as other issues.
The sales scandal has cost the bank business and added to its legal costs.
In a slide presentation accompanying Tuesday’s presentation, the bank said it expects third-party expenses, including those related to sales practices, will remain elevated in the third quarter and not decline until the fourth quarter.