Wells Fargo Cancels Ex-CEO’s $15M Stock Award

The bank indicated Tim Sloan did not do enough to resolve the regulatory problems it faced in the wake of its fake-accounts scandal.
Matthew HellerMarch 17, 2020
Wells Fargo Cancels Ex-CEO’s $15M Stock Award

Former Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan has lost a $15 million stock bonus he received while he was attempting to restore the bank’s fortunes in the wake of its fake-accounts scandal.

Wells Fargo disclosed Monday in a regulatory filing that it had clawed back the February 2019 award, saying it was conditional on Sloan’s “role and responsibility for the company’s progress in resolving outstanding regulatory matters.”

The filing also said Wells Fargo did not award Sloan an annual incentive for 2019 after taking into account the timing of his resignation in March 2019, the bank’s performance, and the status of its risk management objectives and outstanding regulatory matters, “including the progress that continued to be required on both at the time of his resignation.”

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The moves left Sloan, who also did not receive any severance pay, with only the $1.5 million in base salary he earned in 2019.

When Sloan stepped down, the board chair said he had the “full support of the board.” But as the Charlotte Observer reports, “Many had questioned whether an insider like Sloan could fix a bank with the systemic cultural issues Wells had. It appears Wells Fargo’s board now believes that the skepticism was likely well-founded.”

Sloan tried to move the bank past the scandal by, among other things, investing millions of dollars in  flash media campaigns that touted its “re-establishment.”

But in a report released earlier this month, House Republicans said Wells Fargo seemed more focused on making it seem like it was making progress on handling the scandal than actually making the changes that regulators were asking it to make.

“Tim Sloan made a series of incomplete and overly optimistic public statements about the bank’s progress,” the report found. When he said in 2018 that he expected the Federal Reserve to lift its cap on the bank’s growth in the first part of the next year, “there was no basis for such an optimistic prediction,” the report said.

Sloan resigned after providing testimony about compliance at a Congressional hearing that was contradicted by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.