Wells Fargo bank shareholders today re-elected the 15 board members at a meeting in Florida that was marked by criticism of the scandal of false accounts created by employees to collect incentives.
In the voting, however, the disgust was reflected and was acknowledged in a statement by the chairman of the board of directors, Stephen Sanger, who obtained a 56% support, a percentage lower than, according to information experts In these meetings, which is around 90%.
“Wells Fargo shareholders today sent a clear message of dissatisfaction to the board. Let me assure you that the Board has heard that message and that there is still much work to be done to rebuild the trust of shareholders, customers and employees “Sanger said.
The director of the board of directors referred to the scandal unleashed in 2016 with the discovery that Wells Fargo employees opened more than two million bank accounts in the name of clients who had never asked for them and received bonuses for it.
The scandal resulted in the dismissal of 5,300 workers and the payment of millions of fines and compensation to affected customers, as well as the departure of former CEO John Stumpf and former head of the community banking division Carrie Tolsted , To whom an internal investigation known this month points out as responsible.
Sanger said in the statement on the vote taken at the meeting in Ponte Vedra Beach, Northeastern Florida, the reason that all but three newly appointed directors received support of 80 percent or less is that Shareholders consider that they did not act with “enough speed” when the scandal broke.
Sanger noted, however, that “many shareholders” have told them they support “important and far-reaching steps” taken in the past seven months to root out the problem of business practices, increase transparency and ensure that “That inappropriate behavior is not repeated.”
The directors were re-elected with a vote range of 53 to 99 percent, according to the Wells Fargo statement.
Among the least supported were Sanger (56%), Enrique Hernandez, Jr. (53%), Federico F. Peña (54%) and Cynthia H. Milligan (57%).
Shareholders approved the compensation set for 2016 for certain executives, ratified the election of KPMG LLP to be independent auditors of the bank in 2017 and voted in favor of having voting rights over executive compensation each year.
They did not approve any of the six proposals submitted by shareholders.
The pre-voting session was altered today by interruptions of some shareholders who demanded explanations from the board of directors for the accounting irregularities detected in 2016.
Bruce Marks, executive director of the non-governmental organization Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, asked the directors to have “arrests” to give the relevant explanations for the scandal.
Marks also asked whether they were “accomplices” or “incompetent” in the face of irregularities, to which Sanger and Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan responded by asking him to sit down because his intervention was not included in the agenda.
His response was categorical: “Wells Fargo has been off the agenda for years,” CNN Money reported.
The session was temporarily suspended for about ten minutes to restore the order altered by the questions of Marks, who was forced to leave the meeting room.
But when it resumed there were at least three more disrupted shareholder disruptions with the handling of the scandal they intervened without taking the floor, according to media coverage of this meeting.