Wells Fargo taps Kleber Santos to lead consumer lending

Santos will replace Mike Weinbach, who is leaving the bank in mid-September

As Wells Fargo contemplates a smaller footprint in mortgage, the nation’s fourth-largest bank named Kleber Santos as chief executive officer of consumer lending.

Santos joined the bank in November 2020 as head of diverse segments, representation and Inclusion (DSRI), a role he will keep until the bank names a permanent replacement. Before Wells Fargo, he worked for Capital One for 15 years in different positions, including as retail and direct banking president. 

Santos will continue to report to Wells Fargo’s CEO, Charlie Scharf, who said Santos has “built the DSRI function over the past two years and driven significant outcomes in both representation and inclusion,” according to the news release. 

Santos will replace Mike Weinbach, who is leaving in mid-September “to do something different,” Scharf said in the news release Monday. Weinbach joined Wells Fargo in April 2020 to lead consumer lending .  

Santos will be responsible for a shrinking line of business at a moment when the bank has struggled with scandals related to minority lending and fake interviews with minority candidates for job positions. 

In the first quarter, the home lending, auto, credit card and merchant services, and personal lending businesses, which will be under Santos’ leadership, notched $3.5 billion in revenues, a 12% decline from the prior quarter, and down 21% year-over-year. 

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Wells Fargo’s mortgage revenues totaled $1.5 billion in the first quarter of 2022, a 19% drop compared to the previous quarter and 33% lower than the same period in 2021. 

As mortgage rates rise, the bank will lay off 125 employees in its home lending division in Iowa by the end of August. The bank eliminated 72 mortgage jobs in Iowa across earlier layoffs. 

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