A recent survey of Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) customers paints a very bearish picture of the company’s recent scandal and its effects on retail banking operations.
Wells Fargo just released a new television ad campaign to try and repair relations with its customer base, likely in response to the survey results. From Bloomberg:
The commercials will start just hours after management consultancy cg42 released a poll showing 14 percent of Wells Fargo customers have decided to leave the bank, potentially withdrawing billions of dollars and crimping revenue. Still, such an exodus hasn’t been reflected in figures released by the lender so far.
Earlier this month, a secret recording of a Wells Fargo conference call indicated the company’s account-opening scandal hadn’t affected business that much. The recent survey seems to contradict that claim, so it makes sense that the company would be proactive in trying to reel conflicted customers back in:
The spot — featuring a stagecoach in slow motion, and a narrator talking over piano music — escalates a public-relations campaign that already includes Internet and newspaper advertisements, as the firm tries to convince customers it’s putting their interests first.
Wells Fargo’s massive scandal cost former CEO John Stumpf his job a couple of weeks ago, following weeks of posturing and admonishment from Congress. Many regulators — not to mention pundits — had called for Stumpf to resign immediately in the wake of the scandal.
Several municipalities, including the state of Ohio, have also stopped doing business with the bank.
Now the company’s attention turns to damage control, and we’ll have to wait and see what the long-term effects of the scandal — which involved opening over two million accounts and credit cards without customer consent — will eventually amount to.
Wells Fargo shares were mostly flat in premarket trading Tuesday at $45.50. Year-to-date, WFC has fallen 16.26%.