john-stumpf03 750xx3855-2169-0-372Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf on economy, culture after regulators’ probes

 

This is a bizjournals.com article.

 

John Stumpf took the stage on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street this week to talk about the economy.

The CEO of Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) thinks things are going pretty well. Stumpf said the economy is growing at a rate of 2 percent to 2.5 percent and is becoming more regional and industry-specific.

“The economy will be largely dependent on what happens outside the U.S.,” Stumpf said. “That’s the biggest risk to the economy. Within the U.S., it’s probably consumer spending.”

Stumpf is confident interest rates will rise this month, but he’s not sure consumers will notice a big impact from a moderate increase any time soon.

CNBC reporter Kayla Tausche also addressed the elephant in the room — the recent probes from regulators concerned about Wells Fargo’s sales culture. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the San Francisco Federal Reserve are questioning the bank’s culture. The Journal talked to former employees of the San Francisco-based company — on and off the record — about pressure they felt to sell.

A Wells spokeswoman said the bank doesn’t comment on any discussions with regulators.

“We disagree with the allegations in the L.A. City Attorney’s lawsuit and intend to defend ourselves,” spokeswoman Mary Eshet said. “Wells Fargo’s culture is focused on the best interests of its customers and creating a supportive, caring and ethical environment for our team members. This includes training, audits and processes that work together to support our Vision & Values and our commitment to customers receiving only the products and services they need and will benefit from.”

Stumpf couldn’t talk about details of the case, but he defended the bank’s culture on CNBC.

“I’m proud of our culture,” Stumpf said. “I’m proud of our people, our whole business model and the reason they get up in the morning and go to work is to serve customers. When they do well, we do well.

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