It probably goes without saying that it’s been a rough few months for Wells Fargo.
It all started with the shocking revelation of fake account scandal at the bank, which involved more than 5,000 of the bank’s former employees opening more than 2 million fake accounts to get sales bonuses.
The scandal led to a $185 million fine from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the OCC, and the city and county of Los Angeles, and the shockwaves of that scandal are still reverberating.
Recently, the bank announced that its Community Reinvestment Act rating is being downgraded by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, due in part to the fake accounts.
The bank also announced recently that it reached a $110 million settlement in a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of the bank’s customers who had a fake account opened in their name.
And the fallout from the fake accounts is likely far from over.
In the mean time, the bank is working to regain its reputation.
This week, Tim Sloan, who took over as CEO when John Stumpf stepped down, penned an open letter to the bank’s customers, thanking them for their loyalty.
“Thank you,” Sloan’s letter opens. “To all who have stood by us as we have worked to make things right at Wells Fargo, we thank you. We know you have many choices when it comes to banking, which is why we feel it’s our privilege to serve you.”
In the letter, Sloan says that his first action as CEO was apologizing to the bank’s employees, its customers, and the public for “our company’s mistakes.
“At that time, I made a commitment to build a better bank, and to earn back your trust,” Sloan says.
Sloan writes in the letter that there is still work to be done, but notes the steps the bank has taken so far, including reaching that $110 million settlement and refunding approximately $3.2 million to approximately 130,000 retail and small business accounts.
And to any other customers who were victims of the fake account scandal, Sloan pledges to take care of them.
“To any customer whose credit might have been affected by unauthorized account openings, we commit to you that we will make things right,” Sloan writes.
Sloan also notes the changes to the bank’s compensation plan, which eliminated product sales goals.
“Building a better bank is about fixing what went wrong and committing to find new and better ways to serve our customers,” Sloan writes.
“Even as I write this, we continue to introduce new ways to deliver services, develop our people, and manage risks,” Sloan concludes. “All that said, I want to assure you that regaining your trust remains our top priority. Again, thank you for standing by Wells Fargo as we build a better bank.”