Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf spoke to about 3,000 employees in a Charlotte convention center ballroom this morning, causing little controversy in a congratulatory speech.
Here's more that wasn't in the Observer's main story.
In his speech:
- Steps away from the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Stumpf used an extended stock car racing metaphor to praise his employees for its merger. After mentioning the Daytona 500, he called the last three years since the merger was announced the Wells Fargo 1000. And he compared several bank executives to NASCAR greats. "The names might not have been Earnhardt, and Allison and Petty," he said. "They were Kelly and Carroll and Shulte and Engel and Evans. Champions in their own right. Leading all of you, who are also champions."
- On national employment: Stumpf said Wells Fargo has 270,000 employees, of which 265,000 are in the U.S. That means 1 in 500 working Americans are employed by the bank, Stumpf said. Wells is the 12th largest employer in the country.
- On state employment: Wells is the second largest employer in North Carolina, Stumpf said, behind only Walmart. One in 150 working North Carolinians is a Wells employee. (I'm unsure if this is true. The ESC has Food Lion and Duke University also ahead of Wells.)
- Wells has 5 billion "customer interactions" per year, meaning 10,000 each minute.
- Wells Fargo has the largest United Way campaign out of all companies. Overall, it gave about $220 million to 19,000 organizations.
While talking to reporters afterward:
- On several central banks' move to boost global liquidity: "I was not consulted, but I think it was a good idea... Clearly the marketlpace agreed." He said he does not know if the world is on the verge of another financial crisis, but that he hasn't seen many double-dip recessions. He said Wells does not have much European exposure.
- On the upcoming federal stress tests and capital plans: Stumpf said the company already puts its balance sheet through stress tests and is not concerned. As far as capital, he said he is not concerned about meeting more stringent capital requirements. "In the modern Wells Fargo, we've never had so much capital.... Capital is not an issue."
- As far as Charlotte employment, he said he's been careful not to give firm numbers. The number of employees in any area depends on business conditions. But: "We love Charlotte."
- Stumpf said Wells has "settled or resolved" much of the legal risk inherited from Wachovia.
- On potential acquisitions: "Never say never." But the bank has reached the legal threshold of exceeding more than 10 percent of the nation's deposit share in an acquisition. Wells might consider buying a "bolt-on business."