Wells Fargo CEO Calls 2017 Transformational, Eyes Elevated Customer Experience

Sloan referred to an “evolution” that includes new ways to more efficiently serve Wells Fargo customers and create a better customer experience. Included in an elevated customer experience are investments in innovation, streamlining and centralizing processes in organization structures, strengthening the foundations of risk management, and building a robust and more modern data and technology infrastructure.

During the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call, Sloan noted various customer-friendly changes.

“In March we introduced Automatic zero balance alerts and we now send over 18 million real-time alerts a month, enabling our customers to make a deposit or a transfer so they don’t overdraw their account,” Sloan explained. “In November we introduced Overdraft Rewind, which has already helped over 350,000 customers avoid overdraft charges. We believe that using data and technology to help our customers better manage their finances will enable us to grow and build more long-term relationships.”

Last year, Sloan said that Wells Fargo accelerated the pace of innovation and launched value-added technologies, including card-free ATM access, which customers have used more than five million times since March. And since June, customers have sent more than $10 billion through Zelle for P2P payments.

“As our customers have increased their use of online and mobile channels, we’ve made it easier for them to interact with us digitally,” Sloan added. “For example, digital credit card account openings were up 47 percent from a year ago. In November, we launched Intuitive Investor, our digital brokerage advisory offering, and later this quarter we will fully rollout our digital mortgage application, which combines the power of Wells Fargo Data with a You Know Me customer experience.”

This year, Sloan said Wells Fargo plans additional innovations, including instant issuance of debit cards to customers in mobile wallets and control tower, and a central hub for customers to view and manage the places where their Wells Fargo cards and account information is stored.

Sloan is proud of the company’s team member enhancements, including adding four additional paid holidays, announcing plans to grant restricted stock rights to approximately 250,000 team members, and increasing the minimum base pay for all U.S. based team members.

“We increased the minimum hourly rate, to $13.50 in 2017 which impacted 31,000 team members,” Sloan said. “After the passage of the tax cuts and Job Act, we announced another increase to $15 an hour starting in March 2018 and we are also reviewing team members, who were already making $15 an hour or slightly above, to ensure that they are paid appropriately based on their role. We estimate that approximately 70,000 team members will receive a pay increase related to these changes.”

The goal, Sloan said, is to deliver long-term value for shareholders through a balanced business model, strong risk discipline, efficient execution, and a world-class team. In 2017, Wells Fargo recorded $22.2 billion of net income, with an 11.35 percent return on equity.

Another goal is to make positive contributions to the communities Wells Fargo serves
“And in 2017, we donated $286 million, including more than $4 million to areas that were impacted by Hurricanes, California wildfires, and other natural disasters,” Sloan said. “Our efforts to transform Wells Fargo were evident in our results in 2017, including record deposit balances, improved retail banking household retention, increased brand satisfaction with most recent visit scores, which are now back to the levels we had prior to the sales practice settlements, and growth in debit card and credit card purchase volume. Wells Fargo is a much better company today than we were a year ago. And notwithstanding our challenges, I am confident that the hard work, dedication, and resiliency of our team members demonstrated throughout 2017 will make Wells Fargo even better in 2018 as we continue our transformation.”

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