Wells Fargo CEO Sloan: Senior management should have ‘done more’

Timothy J. Sloan, CEO of Wells Fargo.

Richard Drew | AP
Timothy J. Sloan, CEO of Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo reported third quarter earnings that edged out expectations Friday, two days after John Stumpf abruptly retired as CEO in the aftermath of the bank’s phony accounts scandal.

“Our senior management could have and should have done more,” newly installed CEO Tim Sloan said on a conference call.

“We have a specific action plan in place to lead our company forward,” he said. That plan includes “being transparent in our communication.”

“There was clearly something wrong, and we will make the necessary changes to fix it,” Sloan pledged.

Sloan spoke after the bank reported its third-quarter earnings. In a supplementary presentation, the bank said that “mortgage referrals from retail banking were down 24 percent in September from August.”

The third-quarter report was the first since the bank paid $185 million in penalties in September for opening roughly 2 million consumer deposit and credit card accounts without customer authorization as far back as 2011.

Stumpf retired as chairman and CEO on Wednesday, but not all analysts are convinced that the ascension of well-liked Sloan to CEO role will be enough to restore confidence in the bank.

“They need to go outside the company,” Rafferty Capital Markets bank analyst Dick Bove told CNBC.com. “They need to steal somebody from JPMorgan. I don’t think Tim Sloan is the right guy for the job.”

Wells Fargo still faces a number of ongoing investigations by regulators, as well as private lawsuits.

Shares gave up earlier attempts at gains to trade slightly lower amid the conference call.

— CNBC.com’s Jeff Cox contributed to this report.

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