Hannah Levitt, Bloomberg, March 9, 2020 »
Wells Fargo & Co. Chair Betsy Duke resigned from the company’s board ahead of a dramatic congressional hearing set for this week, succumbing to the same political pressures that have claimed multiple former leaders of the bank.
The lender said Monday that board member Charles Noski will replace Duke as chair. Duke faced a growing chorus of calls for her departure after Democrats atop the House Financial Services Committee issued a scathing report last week on the bank’s response to a series of consumer scandals.
The latest set of hearings begins Tuesday with an appearance by CEO Charlie Scharf, less than five months into his tenure. The committee will seek his thoughts on next steps for what it calls “the bank that broke America’s trust.”
Scharf is preparing to answer questions on what he’s doing to get back in the good graces of customers, regulators and the public. He’s met with nearly half the House Financial Services Committee, including Waters, since taking over in October, people with knowledge of the meetings said.
He’ll be able to point to changes he’s made since taking the helm, including adding new leaders and settling past probes. And he can tout the bank’s recent announcements on minimum-wage increases, limited-fee bank accounts and lending to recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Scharf “can come on as a hard-nosed leader who is going to do the bidding of the public and fix things,” Davia Temin, founder of crisis consultancy Temin & Co., said in an interview. “America still loves a comeback kid.”
The board members faced a different task, Temin said. “It’s harder to be part of the problem and then the solution.” […read more]