It’s probably safe to say that Wells Fargo has had a rough relationship with its various regulators over the few years.
It all began with the bank’s fake account scandal, which saw the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the city and county of Los Angeles fine Wells Fargo $185 million for more than 5,000 of the bank’s former employees opening more than 2 million potentially unauthorized accounts to get sales bonuses.
That led to a number of states and cities taking action against the bank. Wells Fargo has also faced issues with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Labor, just to name a few.
Now, as part of an effort to improve its relationships with regulators, Wells Fargo is naming a new head of regulatory relations.
The bank announced Tuesday that it hired Sarah Dahlgren to serve as head of regulatory relations.
Dahlgren comes to Wells Fargo from McKinsey & Company, a global consulting firm, where she was a partner in the risk practice.
Prior to joining McKinsey, Dahlgren spent 25 years at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Dahlgren began at the New York Fed as an examiner and rose to become executive vice president and head of financial-institution supervision.
In that position, Dahlgren was responsible for overseeing many of the nation’s largest banks and developing new supervisory policies and procedures.
At Wells Fargo, Dahlgren will be responsible for oversight of regulatory relations for the bank’s corporate risk organization. According to the bank, Dahlgren will “ensure an organized and cohesive approach to working with the supervisory staffs of the company’s federal regulators and will work with colleagues to coordinate efforts with regulators in other jurisdictions.”
Wells Fargo said that Dahlgren will be “instrumental” in leading the bank’s efforts to have a “sustained, proactive dialogue around risk, controls and compliance” and will also work Fargo to ensure the banks meets the regulatory commitments it makes.
Dahlgren will report to Wells Fargo’s chief risk officer, Mike Loughlin, until his successor is named. Loughlin announced his retirement earlier this year. At the time, the bank said that will name Loughlin’s successor “in the next few months” and Loughlin will remain in the role through that transition.
“Sarah’s deep understanding of financial services regulation is a welcome addition to our corporate risk team,” Loughlin said. “With Sarah’s leadership, I am confident we will strengthen our ability to communicate with our regulators about our progress, solicit their feedback and input and consistently meet our regulatory obligations.”
Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan said that adding Dahlgren is one piece of the bank’s plan to improve its risk management operation.
“Wells Fargo is focused on transforming our risk management practices and we are committed to being very engaged and completely transparent with our regulators so they have a full understanding of the progress we are making in building a stronger organization,” Sloan said. “Hiring a leader with Sarah’s background is another important step in strengthening our risk infrastructure and organization.”