Wells Fargo vows to disclose all legal matters amid scandals, analyst says

Wells Fargo vows to disclose all legal matters amid scandals, analyst says

Wells Fargo is feeling the heat and will disclose all outstanding legal matters, not just updates, in its quarterly regulatory filings, according to Evercore ISI.

The bank's stock fell 1% Friday after the company revealed in an SEC filing it may find a "significant increase" in unauthorized accounts after a new review of its consumer sales scandal.

Wells Fargo shares have underperformed the market this year after multiple controversies involving the unauthorized opening of accounts in customers' names and improper charges for auto insurance customers didn't seek. Its stock had declined 4.1% year to date through Friday versus the S&P 500's 10.6% return.

"Wells Fargo flagged several items in its 10Q filed on Friday, which together, weighed on the stock in late afternoon trading. … On our follow-up call, mgmt noted that as Wells Fargo tries to improve its transparency, it has adopted a policy whereby it will disclose all outstanding legal matters in its 10Q filings, going fwd," Evercore ISI analyst John Pancari wrote in a note to clients Sunday.

"Visibility into the regulatory and legal issues at Wells remains limited, and earnings momentum appears to be suffering somewhat."

Pancari reiterated his outperform rating and 12-month price target of $62 for Wells Fargo shares, which is 17% higher than Friday's closing price.

He said Wells Fargo admitted its legal costs could be more than the current high-end $3.3 billion estimate.

"On our follow-up call, mgmt confirmed there has been no change to RPL [reasonably possible potential losses] since the 2Q earnings call and the filing of the 10Q. Notably, Wells Fargo acknowledged that due to the uncertain nature of legal outcomes, actual losses may be in excess of the RPL," Pancari wrote.

An analyst told CNBC on Friday he didn't expect Wells Fargo would need to raise additional capital in order to meet its legal costs.

"Wells, just like everyone in the banking system today, are so overcapitalized that thought wouldn't even enter our heads," Gerard Cassidy, banking analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said on "Closing Bell."

Last September, Wells Fargo reached a $185 million settlement with regulators for creating what the bank then said could be as many as 2.1 million accounts in customer names without their permission.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren pressed Fed Chair Janet Yellen on July 13 to remove all of the Wells Fargo's directors who were on the board when the fake accounts scandal came to light.

Wells Fargo sent the following statement in response to this story:

"The disclosures included in our filing [Friday] reflect the company's continued commitment to transparency. Our top priority is to rebuild trust, and this work includes an ongoing effort to identify and address other areas or instances where customers may have experienced financial harm. We remain focused on making things right for our customers, team members, community partners and shareholders and on building a better Wells Fargo."


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