Wells Fargo Mess Continues

Wells Fargo doesn’t have any answers. As the body shots take their toll the brand remains badly bruised and bloodied, with advisors caught squarely in the crossfire.

Just three years ago Wells Fargo was a paragon of virtue and stability. One of the banks that facilitated an exit strategy for a ‘bad actor’ like Wachovia during the financial crisis – and consistently falling back on a “we didn’t want/need a bailout during the financial crisis” narrative.

That doesn’t feel like three years ago, but more like a million years ago. In fact, it’s gone from bad to worse.

Wells Fargo’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Sloan stepped down, succumbing to mounting pressure over the lender’s scandals, and was replaced on an interim basis by the bank’s general counsel, C. Allen Parker.

That makes CEO number 3 in as many years. And a quick question, when was the last time a ‘general counsel as CEO’ has quickly turned around a struggling global brand?

Face palm.

Meanwhile, these headlines are a ‘let’s play monopoly’ strategy door opener for Wells Fargo Advisors. It is quite possibly the easiest narrative in the history of recruiting and transitions if you are leaving Wells Fargo.

Advisor: Mr. Smith, I’ve decided to leave Wells Fargo and join Firm X.

Client: Why?

Advisor: (after recovering from a choking laughter fit) This place is a dumpster fire, our third CEO in as many years has just been ousted, and we expect another round of regulatory fines.

Client: Are you sure?

Advisor: I’m embarrassed to work here.

Client retention percentages as Wells Fargo advisors move to competing firms have to be setting records. Every client is moving with these advisors.

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