Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jan 14, 2020 • 10:00 am ET

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Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Executive
Charles W. Scharf

we have one of the most enviable financial services franchises in the world and employees that want to do what's necessary to again be one of the most respected and successful banks in the US.

To fully capture this opportunity, we must have a strong foundation and move with an extreme sense of urgency to remediate our historical issues. We still have much more work to do to put these issues behind us and our future depends on us doing this successfully, so we can regain trust with all stakeholders, including our clients, regulators, lawmakers as well as the broader American population. Ultimately, our actions will dictate when that trust is completely regained, not our words.

Given the importance of these issues, I want to say a few more words about our situation, particularly about the challenges that stand in the way of our success and importantly, the different approach we're taking to address these issues. Providing an honest assessment and clear priorities is critical. And I've given a clear message inside the Company that we have not yet met our own expectations or the expectations of others. We must do what's necessary to put these issues behind us. Our ability to maximize the value of this great franchise is dependent on us running the Company with the highest standards of operational excellence and integrity beyond what we've done to date.

We are appropriately a highly regulated institution. And while we need to fulfill regulatory expectations, we recognize that what we want and what regulators want are not different. We are responsible for our actions, and they're responsible for ensuring our actions are consistent with clearly defined standards. It's our job to run the Company such that we fulfill their expectations and those of the American public and other countries where we operate. Respect was earned in the past, and we will earn it again. As such, since joining, I've been spending almost all of my time on these issues. I will say this several times, but you should note there is still much work to do. Many have focused on the Fed consent order, but remember, we have 12 public enforcement actions that require significant resource commitment.

While I certainly wish more of this work was behind us, what's required of us is clear and we will get it done. It's worked that other banks have done already, so there is a clear roadmap for what we need to achieve. We are making significant changes to our management, structure and processes to accomplish our work, changes that will make us more effective. Like any other problem, recognition of the importance in severity is a necessary first step, but this by itself is inadequate. We will take whatever actions are necessary. Our future success depends on resolving these issues, so we will act accordingly. The management team will be judged and held accountable for resolving these issues. To set us up for success, we will ensure we have the right