Wells Fargo ‘not done’ fixing issues, but on its way: Mary Mack

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Mary Mack, the head of consumer banking at Wells Fargo, said Thursday the San Francisco bank has made significant progress in fixing its culture after a series of scandals over the past two years.

In a speech at American Banker’s Most Powerful Women in Banking and Finance gala on Wall Street, she acknowledged the challenges still facing the bank.

“While the last couple of years for us have been really difficult years for Wells Fargo, out of our 166-year history — we got this,” she said.

Mack, a 34-year veteran of Wells, said the $1.9 trillion-asset bank has changed since the 2016 sales practices scandal and a slew of other regulatory actions.

“We’ve learned some tough lessons over the last couple of years that have caused us to reevaluate who we are and what we value and to focus on our customers,” Mack said at an awards dinner at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. “We’re not done. We’ve made a lot of progress. We have changed and evolved our culture.”

The consumer bank has the lowest attrition in five years, she said, offering praise to the consumer bank’s 110,000 employees.

“Their resiliency has been so inspiring to me,” she said. “Keep watching because I think you’ll be delighted with what you see from us.”

Her comments come as some lawmakers continue to put pressure on Wells.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, the top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, called Thursday for Wells Chief Executive Tim Sloan and Chairwoman Betsy Duke to testify before Congress.

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Mack noted the extra scrutiny facing the bank, and even managed to poke fun at it, noting she’d been chosen as the No. 1 “Woman to Watch” for a second straight year.

“Some of you may be wondering what it feels like to be the No. 1 Woman to Watch, not one, but two years in row,” Mack told the crowd of roughly 800 bankers. “It’s because I work for Wells Fargo and we’re under a microscope.”

Mack described the reaction of her 92-year-old mother to the phony-accounts scandal that came to light two years ago.

“In only the way that a mother can keep you grounded, she said, ‘Honey, I heard about that. It’s not something you did, is it?’ ”

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Enforcement actions Workplace culture Mary Mack Sherrod Brown Wells Fargo Women in Banking