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Although we are in the fifth year of economic recovery, Jon Campbell says it doesn’t really feel like that. “The recovery has been slow and uneven, with many people struggling to find jobs, build credit, pay for medical expenses, start businesses, or save for retirement,” he says. And today, stakeholders have much higher expectations for public companies such as Wells Fargo. “We’re expected to do much more than generate shareholder return, serve our customers responsibly, and support our team members,” Campbell says. “We’re expected to help solve a wide variety of economic, social, and environmental challenges—from decreasing economic and social divisions to addressing climate change.” A big change over the past several years that has been mentioned elsewhere is the significant increase in regulation and regulatory oversight initiatives that have been put in place to create a safer and stronger financial services industry. “This heightened regulatory oversight has presented us with a complex set of challenges and opportunities,” Campbell says. “Increased regulations have substantially changed how most U.S. financial services companies conduct business. We’re in favor of good, clear, consistent regulation that creates standards, protections, and oversight, but we’ve seen regulations in all industries that have unintended consequences, such as increasing the cost of credit or slowing economic recovery.” To alleviate these difficulties, Wells Fargo has greatly increased corporate-level project management to implement new requirements for significant firm-wide coordination and input, such as stress-testing, recovery, and resolution planning. “We have also significantly increased our risk management and compliance oversight resources in response to regulatory requirements,” Campbell says. “For example, we formed a Regulatory Change Management Office to facilitate, coordinate, and provide overall direction and oversight for regulatory reform initiatives from rulemaking through implementation. “There is so much change and opportunity happening. For all of us in the public and private sector, we’ll need to continually work on balancing the changes in our industries with evolving stakeholder expectations and the everyday challenges facing our customers and communities.” Jon Campbell, ’77 BSB EVP, Director of Government and Community Relations Wells Fargo Bank Stakeholders Now Have Higher Expectations for Companies “Many small, medium, and large companies across the nation have successfully emerged strong and healthy from the recent recession—some even stronger than they were prior to downturn,” says Andrew Cecere. “Over the past few years, companies have strengthened their balance sheets, built up their cash positions, enhanced their productivity by carefully managing expenses, and grown their earnings.” However, even though domestic companies are on solid footing, they remain cautious with continuing uncertainty surrounding the economy in general, legislative and regulatory change, health care and tax policies, and the impact from European and emerging market economies. “This uncertainty was evident throughout 2013, particularly for the banking industry, as loan demand remained subdued, line utilization dropped to historically low levels, and companies continued to express their hesitation to begin to expand and invest,” Cecere says. “The outlook, however, is becoming increasingly more positive, evidenced by companies’ willingness to request and pay for open lines of credit with their lenders and, importantly, discuss opportunities for investing in the near future.” 10 UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA Andrew Cecere, ’91 MBA Vice Chairman and CFO U.S. Bancorp Companies Remaining Cautious Amid Continued Uncertainty


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