Wells Fargo Had Among Worst Reputations of Any Company Ahead of CEO Resignation

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Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) CEO Timothy J. Sloan left the big bank unexpectedly. It has been criticized for sales tactics and legal violations since before he was appointed. He could not improve the bank’s reputation, which recently was listed as the worst of any U.S. company in a major study of corporate reputations.

According to a 24/7 Wall St.’s Companies With the Best and Worst Reputations:

A recent technical glitch at Wells Fargo that prevented customers from seeing paychecks and direct deposits in their online and mobile banking accounts was a reminder of the recent troubles at the California-based financial institution. For more than two years, Wells Fargo was involved in a series of scandals that severely damaged its reputation. Wells Fargo was blamed for creating millions of false accounts, and it announced in 2016 it had discharged about 5,300 workers over a several-year period for this practice. The bank also confessed to charging customers for mortgage fees that they were not responsible for and for paying for car insurance they did not need. Wells Fargo also had to provide refunds to customers for pet insurance, home warranties, and other products they did not understand they were charged for.

Wells Fargo has run mea culpa commercials on television and in print ads in an attempt to restore customer trust in the financial institution. Even so, the bank has had trouble expanding its customer base in its corporate bank unit. It is also the lowest ranked financial institution on this list.

Sloan also could not shake the perception that he had been part of Wells Fargo’s problems for years. Before he was made chief executive in October 2016, replacing disgraced former CEO John Stumpf, Sloan was the Wells Fargo chief operating officer and before that chief financial officer. He was, therefore, in senior management throughout the years when Wells Fargo experienced its worsening problems.

Sloan leaves the bank with a corporate reputation it may take years to repair.

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