SWOT Analysis of Wells Fargo
This is a detailed SWOT analysis of Wells Fargo. It aims to analyse the strengths and the weaknesses of Wells Fargo. It also aims to analyse the opportunities and threats that the bank could face today and in the future. Wells Fargo is an American multinational financial services company, headquartered in San Francisco, California.
Strengths of Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo is one of the four major banks in America. It is indeed in the 3rd position in terms of total assets which stands at $1.75 trillion (Phaneuf, 2020). It was the 8th most profitable company in America in 2020 and the 17th largest public company in the world (Forbes, 2020).
Another strength of Wells Fargo is that it serves one out of three households in the USA. It serves over 70 million customers globally and has 30.3 million active digital customers. It is indeed one of the most valuable banking brands in the USA. It has over 7200 branches and 13,000 ATMs and operates in 40 countries and territories (Wells Fargo, 2021).
Wells Fargo is heavily targeting millennials with its mobile banking services. Its ‘Pay with Wells Fargo’ service allows customers to have access to their most used payment features before signing into the app (Phaneuf, 2020). It has a range of services for both business and individual customers.
Weaknesses of Wells Fargo
Although Wells Fargo has many strengths, it also has its fair share of weaknesses. For instance, fake accounts scandal has been a big issue for it for quite some time. From 2002 to 2016, its employees used fraudulent activities to meet impossible sales targets.
The fraudulent activities included but not limited to opening millions of accounts in customers’ names without their knowledge and transferring their money secretly. Consequently, the bank had to come to a settlement with the US federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission and agreed to pay $3 billion (Flitter, 2020). It was not only a big financial blow but also a massive blow to the bank’s corporate image.
Wells Fargo’s relationships with its employees is another area of concern. It has been accused of mistreating them and forcing them to work overtime without any financial incentives. It is also planning to shut down a huge number of its retail branches (Egan, 2020).
Opportunities for Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo has a number of opportunities to explore to grow its business. For instance, it operates in only 40 countries and territories. Therefore, reaching out to more countries is worth exploring. Likewise, partnership with other banks and finical institutions may help it diversify its portfolio.
Threats to Wells Fargo
The last element of this SWOT analysis of Wells Fargo includes discussions on the threats facing the bank. As Wells Fargo operates in many countries, it faces competition from a number of competitors such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citygroup, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and Morgan Stanley.
Financial crisis, recession and regulatory changes (both domestically and internationally) are likely to impact on the operations of Wells Fargo. However, it is worth noting that these factors would have an impact on any bank, and therefore, not specific to Wells Fargo only.
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Last update: 07 March 2021
Egan, M. (2020) Wells Fargo is a hot mess. It has only itself to blame, available at: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/07/15/investing/wells-fargo-bank-dividend/index.html (accessed 05 March 2021)
Flitter, E. (2020) The Price of Wells Fargo’s Fake Account Scandal Grows by $3 Billion, available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/21/business/wells-fargo-settlement.html (Accessed: 15 February 2021).
Forbes (2020), Global 2000: The World’s Largest Public Companies, available at: https://www.forbes.com/global2000/#68eff930335d (accessed 05 March 2021)
Phaneuf, A. (2020) Here is a list of the largest banks in the United States by assets in 2021. Available at: https://www.businessinsider.com/largest-banks-us-list?r=US&IR=T (accessed 15 February 2021).
Wells Fargo (2021) Wells Fargo across the world, available at: https://www.wellsfargojobs.com/international-wholesale (accessed 01 March 2021)
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Author: Joe David
Joe David has years of experience both in the UK and abroad. He writes regularly online on a variety of topics. He has a keen interest in business, hospitality and tourism management.