Elizabeth Duke Becomes First Woman To Chair A Major U.S. Bank

Lianne Hikind | August 16, 2017
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In a historic first, Elizabeth Duke will become chairman of the Wells Fargo board starting on Jan. 1, according to a statement put out by the bank.

Duke, a former Federal Reserve governor, will become the first woman to ever chair a major U.S bank. She will replace current Wells Fargo chairman Stephen Sanger, who has been chairman less than a year.

According to MarketWatch:

The San Francisco lender, which has battled a sales-practices scandal and other problems in recent months, announced the promotion of Duke, the board’s vice chairman, Tuesday along with other changes. The moves represent the bank’s strongest response yet to the high percentage of shareholders who voted against directors at its annual meeting in April, a clear sign of discontent after years of Wells Fargo being an investor favorite.

Wells Fargo has had its share of recent troubles. The bank received massive public backlash from their fake-email scandal which dates back to 2011 and, in in April of 2017, retracted $28 million paid to former CEO John Stumpf as well as $47 million paid to the former head of community banking Carrie Tolstedt for their role in not doing enough to clean up company culture. It was this culture that, according to Business Insider, "led employees at the bank to open as many as 2 million credit card and retail banking accounts." 

Wells Fargo was fined over $100 million Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which according to the New York Times was the largest fine the agency had ever levied. 

Here's hoping that Duke can clean up her new house, and create change that shareholders will appreciate.