Business Strategy and Outlook| Eric Compton |
Wells Fargo remains in the middle of a multiyear rebuild. The bank is still under an asset cap imposed by the Federal Reserve and we don't see this restriction coming off in 2023. Wells Fargo has years of expense savings related projects ahead of it as the bank attempts to get its efficiency ratio back under 60%. We also see a multiyear journey of repositioning and investing in the firm's existing franchises, including growing its middle market investment banking wallet share, investing in the cards franchise, and revitalizing a wealth segment that has lost advisors for years. These tasks take on increased importance for a bank that has been on defense for years after its fake accounts scandal broke in late 2016. We're already starting to see glimpses of the transition to offense from defense with the launch of multiple new card products, advisors not declining for the first time in years in fourth-quarter 2022, and the $2.2 billion of incremental internal investments in 2023 (a step up from the $1.7 billion goal from 2022). Even so, while the bank is making progress, we expect a multiyear journey remains.