Inside Wells Fargo’s Plan to Fix Its Culture Post-Scandal

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Inside Wells Fargo’s Plan to Fix Its Culture Post-Scandal

Inside Wells Fargo’s Plan to Fix Its Culture Post-Scandal

Fortune-

When news of the Wells Fargo fake-­accounts scandal broke this past September, the company’s stock responded as it had for much of the year: It rose.

A U.S. congressman would soon label the bank “a criminal enterprise,” late-night television hosts would bash it mercilessly, and plaintiffs would file lawsuits that the company recently estimated could cost it billions of dollars. Yet on that Thursday in September—as one of the stranger and more outrageous banking scandals in memory was being revealed to the world—Wells Fargo’s share price ticked merrily upward.

Investors merely yawned at the revelation that its employees had created as many as 2.1 million phony deposit and credit card accounts for unwitting customers—a “widespread illegal practice,” in the words of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, that provoked that government regulator to slam the bank with its largest-ever penalty, a $100 million fine; the bank also paid $85 million to settle with the Los Angeles City Attorney and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Wall Street analysts were as nonplussed as investors; none of the 30-plus sages who cover the company—No. 25 on this year’s Fortune 500—issued any urgent reassessments. Even three weeks later, with little break in the scalding headlines, John Stumpf, then Wells Fargo’s CEO, was calmly telling a House committee that the scandal was “absolutely immaterial.”

[FORTUNE]

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