Wells Fargo's Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf, struggling to quell a scandal and demands for management accountability, plans to offer House lawmakers the same apology he gave senators last week except for a key change, according to a copy of the testimony obtained by Bloomberg News.
Stumpf's prepared remarks for his scheduled appearance before the House Financial Services Committee on Thursday say Wells has moved up the deadline for the elimination of sales goals. Wells Fargo has decided to end product sales goals for retail bank employees by Oct. 1 after previously saying it would make that change Jan. 1.
In the remarks, Stumpf says he failed to fulfill his responsibility to Wells Fargo customers and lays out a timeline of the bank's attempts to deter misconduct. Stumpf plans to tell lawmakers that he is "deeply sorry" and that the abuses -- which imposed fees on clients, and may have hurt credit scores for some -- wasn't an "orchestrated effort."
"I have been with Wells Fargo through many challenges, none that pains me more than the one we will discuss," Stumpf said. "I want to apologize to all Wells Fargo customers. I want to apologize for violating the trust our customers have invested in Wells Fargo. And I want to apologize for not doing more sooner to address the causes of this unacceptable activity."
Stumpf's prepared testimony may differ from what he delivers orally, as was the case last week when he appeared before a Senate panel. Stumpf told lawmakers on Sept. 20 the board was actively engaged on the account issue and that he would accept any actions taken with respect to executives, which was an addition to his prepared remarks. There is no mention of clawbacks or executive pay in Stumpf's House testimony.
However, late Wednesday the company said Stumpf will forfeit $41 million of stock, plus some salary, as the bank's board investigates the company's bogus-account scandal. Former retail bank chief Carrie Tolstedt will forgo all unvested stock, valued at about $19 million, and agreed not to cash in outstanding options during the review, the company said.
The scandal ignited Sept. 8, when the San Francisco-based bank agreed to pay a record $185 million to authorities including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after a review found employees may have opened more than 2 million accounts and credit cards without consumers' permission.
A spokeswoman for Wells Fargo didn't have an immediate comment.