The Bankwatch

Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

Wells Fargo loses touch with reality

The impression that Bank CEO’s live in the stratosphere came from a source I never would have expected today.  Wells Fargo had an ad campaign on the weekend.

“The Value of Team Member Recognition,” included a message from the company’s CEO John Stumpf who wrote “many media stories on this subject have been deliberately misleading. These one-sided stories lead you to believe every employee recognition event is a junket, a boondoggle, a waste, or that it’s for highly paid executives. Nonsense!”

I have been unequivocally positive and supportive of Wells for years, but this ad campaign has to be the stupidest idea ever, and heads should roll.

Campbell Brown on CNN tonight made statements like – quote approximate:

“We understand Wells will be laying off people this year following the Wachovia acquisition – will those people get a thank you note from you along with their pink slip”


“Was a $200K newpaper ad where you said the employee trips were paid from profits worth it after you received $25 bn in taxpayer money – if you are making profits why not pay the money back?”

All I can say is wow!  What a complete faux pas.  The matter had been virtually forgotten and overwhelmed by other news.  Has the Wells Fargo Executive floor lost touch with reality!  Why not shut up and lay low, or as Campbell Brown says, pay the $25 Bn back right now.

Anyone from Wells corporate care to comment?

Written by Colin Henderson

February 10, 2009 at 20:28

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  1. All of thelarge banks have been guilty of activity like this for many years as they have grown fat, dumb and happy from consumers and businesses who were at their whim and mercy when it came to doing business. The internet, savvy “mid-market” banks and better educated consumers are not putting up with this anymore and are calling the banks on every little detail. If a bank like WF is making a profit (show me a profit and not just through your annual reporting returns – can anyone say ENRON)then they should be not laying people off, they should be paying back the government the money we the people laid out to save your sorry asses in the first place.


    February 11, 2009 at 09:28

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