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Wells Fargo’s reputation has taken it on the chin for the past month.
The scandal surrounding the opening of 2 million accounts without customers’ consent by retail-banking employees has forced CEO John Stumpf to testify before Congress and led the California and Illinois governments to suspend business with the bank for 12 months.
This has been a huge hit to the image of Wells Fargo, but according to The Wall Street Journal, it hasn’t affected the business too much.
According to a report from The Journal’s Emily Glazer, executives at the embattled bank held a conference call on Monday and reported that the scandal had not led to a serious drop-off in new business but that the bank doesn’t want the public to know that.
COO Timothy Sloan said on the call that the bank was still opening more retail-banking accounts than it was closing, albeit with a smaller margin than it used to have. Additionally, executives reportedly said the impact from the loss of government business had been negligible.
Wells Fargo executives apparently don’t want the public to know about the bank’s good news, however, for fear of more retribution from customers and lawmakers.
“We probably won’t broadcast that because it might incentivize people to do more, to make it tougher on Wells Fargo, but the story line is worse than the economics at this point,” CFO John Shrewsberry said on the call, according to The Journal.
At the same time, this doesn’t mean executives think the bank is out of the woods. Stumpf said, according to The Journal, “It’s going to be harder for a while, and we get that.”
Evidently, however, the bank doesn’t want to advertise just how well it’s making it through.