Nearly two years after a stunning scandal over unauthorized customer accounts, Wells Fargo is still trying to rebuild trust with customers — an effort underscored by a fresh marketing campaign the bank announced Monday.
The theme of the push is "Re-established," an attempt to convince customers Wells Fargo is righting itself following the sales scandal and newer problems. The campaign highlights fixes the bank has made, as well as its more than 165-year-old history, including its role transporting gold across American as the nation was expanding westward.
"We're holding ourselves accountable to find and fix issues proactively, because earning back your trust is our greatest priority," says a national commercial kicking off the push, which launched Sunday. "It's a new day at Wells Fargo, but it's a lot like our first day," the ad proclaims, using the tagline: "Wells Fargo, established 1852. Re-established 2018."
During the CBS broadcast of the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament on Sunday, Wells executive Mary Mack briefly discussed the campaign with announcer Jim Nantz. Mack, who is based in Charlotte, is the executive charged with revamping the company's community banking unit.
The San Francisco-based bank, which has its largest employment hub in Charlotte, said the effort will include print and other advertisements. The campaign leans into Wells Fargo's history while it also "acknowledges past issues, communicates the extent of changes made across the organization, and shows how the company is re-committing to its customers and their satisfaction," the bank said in a news release.
Wells Fargo has been dogged by scandals since 2016 accusations that branch employees were opening fake accounts to meet increasingly unattainable sales goals. Since then, newer problems have emerged, and the bank remains under investigation by federal and state authorities for its sales practices.
For example, the bank disclosed in March a probe by federal authorities of activities in its wealth and investment management unit. And last month, the bank agreed to pay $1 billion in fines to settle claims of improper mortgage and auto-lending practices that harmed consumers.
The drip-drip of problems has caused some to call for the ouster of CEO Tim Sloan, a longtime insider promoted to chief executive after the 2016 scandal came to light. In the face of such criticism, Sloan has defended his work as CEO, and the chair of the bank's board last month also praised the changes Wells Fargo has made under Sloan's leadership.
"In the past 20 months, we have transformed Wells Fargo by simplifying our business model, investing for the future, and strengthening our culture,” Sloan said in a statement Monday. “While we have made solid progress, we recognize there is still work to be done. This campaign marks a turning point by expressing how we are fundamentally a different company today, and that it feels like a new day at Wells Fargo.”
The new campaign launched days before the bank holds a day of presentations for investors and analysts on Thursday.
Staff writer Rick Rothacker contributed.