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Wells Fargo CEO: I Never Lied to Investors

Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan spoke with CNBC’s Wilfred Frost on Wednesday addressing Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) comments about his worthiness to be CEO after the accounts scandal—admitting that he believes he is the right person to be CEO of the big bank.

In addition, Frost reminded Sloan of a previous interview on June 16, 2016, where Sloan said he didn't believe that Wells Fargo's cross-selling strategy had been pushed too hard.

"What do you say to the investors, after three years of negative press on the cross-selling issue, that read that interview from Tim Sloan, someone they trust, to find out that it was a lie three months later?" Frost said.

“I didn’t lie and I don’t,” Sloan responded. “I didn’t lie to our shareholders and I didn’t lie to any of our stakeholders. What I described was the fact that cross-selling, which is shorthand for good relationship management, there is nothing wrong with good relationship management, and we clearly had it, and what we’ve talked about is the fact we had an incentive plan in our retail bank that drove inappropriate behavior, since I’ve become CEO we’ve dealt with that."

However, on October 3, Sen. Warren slammed Sloan with criticism during the  U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs full committee hearing titled “Wells Fargo: One Year Later" on Capitol Hill.

“Mr. Sloan, you say you've been making changes at Wells Fargo for 30 years, but you enabled this fake account scam, you got rich off it, and then you tried to cover it up,” Sen. Warren said. “At best, you are incompetent. At worst, you are complicit. Either way, you should be fired.”

Despite calls for his stepping down, DS News reported Sloan still had Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett in his corner.

“Tim Sloan has my faith,” said Buffet on CNBC’s Squawk Box. “If you get [a problem that is] systemic, you've got a big problem. And once you find out about it, you've got to get it right, get it fast, get it out, get it over—and getting it right is hard.”

In the end, Sloan believes he is still the best fit for CEO saying, “I think I am the right person to be CEO because of my experience, my ability to make a change, and because of the optimism and resiliency that I have, and because I have the support of the team. So everyone’s got a right to an opinion, but I am going to focus on customers and team members."

View the full interview on CNBC by clicking here.


About Author: Nicole Casperson

Nicole Casperson is the Associate Editor of DS News and MReport. She graduated from Texas Tech University where she received her M.A. in Mass Communications and her B.A. in Journalism. Casperson previously worked as a graduate teaching instructor at Texas Tech's College of Media and Communications. Her thesis will be published by the International Communication Association this fall. To contact Casperson, e-mail: [email protected].

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