This wagon is stuck. Nearly three years after a fake accounts scandal that cost consumers millions, the banking giant is still in cleanup mode (while its peers, buoyed by a strong economy, have been cleaning up). In 2018 alone, Wells Fargo came to a $1 billion settlement for misconduct in its auto and mortgage lending business. Now, under constant scrutiny from regulators, the bank that has historically promoted from within is seeking new leadership. It won’t be an easy job: ex-CEO Tim Sloan spent much of his two-year tenure on an apologetic redemption tour, and that wasn’t enough to keep his post. With a tightening yield curve that is expected to press on income, and a cap on assets imposed by the Federal Reserve in the wake of its scandals, 2019 will likely continue to be a difficult year for Wells Fargo. One bright spot for investors: Wells has been buying back stock, to the tune of $7 billion in the fourth quarter alone.
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