Wells Fargo boss apologizes again but Fitch cuts lender's rating

by Steve Randall04 Oct 2017
The president and CEO of Wells Fargo testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs yesterday and apologized again for the improper sales practices in its Community Bank.

Tim Sloan pledged to continue transformational changes he has made at the company since taking the reins last fall.

“The past year has been humbling and challenging. We are resolving past problems even as we make changes to ensure nothing like this happens again at Wells Fargo. We are doing this by strengthening our culture, holding leaders accountable, and improving our business practices and risk management,” Sloan said in his testimony.

However, the lender’s corporate governance, along with lower future earnings, is a concern for ratings agency Fitch which cut Wells Fargo’s rating from A+ to AA- Tuesday with a stable outlook. The bank subsidiary was also cut to AA-.

“We do not believe WFC’s earnings profile will continue to exceed peers to the same degree as in the past, and we acknowledge several notable missteps in the company’s risk controls that warrant the downgrade,” Fitch said.

In Sloan’s testimony he said that every one of the 270,000 employees of Wells Fargo are committed to making it right for customers it let down.

“Wells Fargo is a better bank today than it was a year ago. And next year, Wells Fargo will be a better bank than it is today,” said Sloan. “This is a big job, and we will get it right.”

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