Give Wells Fargo credit for responding to its recent blunders, which include the creation of some 2 million bank accounts that were set up without customers’ consent. In response, some employees were fired and executives were forced to give back more than $90 million in compensation. But that did not include those at the top of the food chain.
Despite the embarrassing revelations, Wells Fargo’s longtime CEO John Stumpf was able to retire last fall with more than $83 million by exercising all of his vested stock options, which he had amassed over a 34-year career. He also received stock awards.But Well Fargo announced on Monday that it was clawing back some $75 million in compensation from Stumpf and the bank’s former head of community banking, Carrie Tolstedt. Stumpf had already agreed to give up $41 million in compensation.
The announcement comes in the wake of a scorching internal report that said the creation of the bogus bank accounts occurred despite abundant warnings. These included complaints by Wells Fargo managers that employees were being pressured to meet unrealistic sales goals and that an “numerous” accounts were not being funded, primarily because customers did not know had been set up. Stumpf reportedly had been made aware of rising customer and employee complaints as early as 2012.
Thumbs up on this effort to regain consumer confidence and credibility. Keep clawing.