Wells Fargo Seeks to Rebuild Trust, Expand Brand Loyalty

Rebuilding trust and expanding brand loyalty are two priorities for Wells Fargo.

At the end of August, Wells Fargo completed an expanded third-party review of retail banking accounts covering 165 million accounts over a nearly eight-year period.

“As part of our priority of rebuilding trust, we provided expanded disclosure in our second quarter 10-Q filing, detailing our efforts to identify and address other areas and instances where customers may have experienced financial harm,” Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan said during Friday’s third-quarter earnings call. “We also announced in August a plan to remediate auto loan customers who may have been financially harmed due to issues related to collateral protection insurance policies which we purchased on their behalf when customers’ insurance policies lapsed. I’m proud of the progress our team members have made to strengthen our culture, improve our business practices and risk management. We made fundamental changes to our business model, organizational structure, and compensation and performance management programs.”

Sloan noted a few examples of the company’s investments in innovation.

“Since launching the Zelle person-to-person experience in June, we’ve seen significant growth in both the number of transactions and the dollar sent,” he said. “In the third quarter, P-to-P payment sent by our customers increased 46 percent from a year ago. We’ve recently launched a pilot of our online mortgage application. It combines the power of Wells Fargo data with the digital interface to create a know-me customer experience. We expect to complete rollout in the first quarter of next year.”

Later this month, Wells Fargo will roll out Intuitive Investor, a new digital advisory offering providing low-cost allocation, portfolio selection, and rebalancing.

“We are working diligently to make things right for our customers,” Sloan said. “We will continue to be transparent and we will be reporting more progress in months ahead. We are working hard to transform Wells Fargo into a better bank for our customers, our team members, shareholders, and our communities. One reason I am confident that we are on the right path is it in the third quarter total team member attrition at Wells Fargo reached its lowest level in over six years. Within Community Banking, attrition is also at its lowest in over six years and it is improved every quarter over the past year. Our customers are also responding positively to the changes we’ve made. While branch customer loyalty and satisfaction with most recent visit scores declined slightly in September after our announcement of the completion of the expanded third-party account review, both metrics had reached individual post-sales practices settlements high earlier in the quarter. And we saw improvement in loyalty scores near the end of the September.”

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