Wells Fargo shareholders tepidly re-elect bank's directors in raucous meeting

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Separately, California State Treasurer John Chiang today issued statements after Wells Fargo Bank shareholders reelected the company's board of directors. But only one director on that committee received a vote of high confidence, potentially putting members in the awkward position of picking their own replacements.

When the meeting restarted a few minutes later, Mr. Sanger said the shareholder made a "physical approach to our board members and ultimately we removed him from the meeting". If you are viewing this piece on another website, it was illegally copied and reposted in violation of U.S. and global copyright & trademark legislation.

All 15 of the board members nominated won new one-year terms - in four cases by relatively narrow margins - as investors vented anger and frustration over the scandal and the company's operations during the bank's annual shareholder meeting held at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

"The board has heard that message".

The meeting marked the first for shareholders since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) last September exposed the bank for opening millions of unauthorized accounts, which saddled many customers with fees and blemishes on their credit score, all in the name of meeting unrealistic sales quotas. And another director, Enrique Hernandez could only manage a 53% vote in favour of his re-election.

Reuters reported that the directors who received the lowest support had faced negative recommendations from influential proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), which argued they failed in their oversight duties.

"Wells Fargo has been out of order for years, and your response is, 'Well, we're sorry, '" Marks yelled. He expects Sanger to be replaced by a colleague who garnered more support. None of the more tenured directors could muster more than 80% of the vote.

The other three received 99% approval, and were the most recent additions: Sloan, who was named CEO in October after the scandal erupted, as well as Ronald Sargent and Karen Peetz, who were newly elected to the board this year. He will hit that mark next year, but would not say when he planned to retire.

Well, that was exciting but in the end, Wells Fargo 's board survived.

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The bank's guidelines require that directors offer to resign if they fail to receive a majority of votes cast.

That scandal brought national attention to the almost three-hour-long shareholders meeting at the Ponte Vedra Beach resort, with some advocates calling for stockholders to vote out the 12 board members (out of 15 total) who served while the improper sales practices took place. "I can assure you that we are facing these problems head-on and that Wells Fargo is emerging a much stronger company".

When the meeting came out of recess, things got back to normal, and by "normal" we mean three more angry shareholder outbursts and an impassioned plea by a Native American community leader to stop Wells Fargo from colluding to destroy tribal lands. If you are viewing this piece on another site, it was copied illegally and republished in violation of US & worldwide copyright law.

Sanger declined to open the floor to individual board members. Two borrowers gave emotional recountings of their ordeal with Wells Fargo's mortgage operation, both breaking into tears.

Sloan said the improper sales practices resulted from an incentive program that pressured employees to make sales, coupled with a decentralized organizational structure that kept the issues from upper management.

The bank and its 15 board directors were on edge through the night and early morning as key institutional shareholders placed their votes, people familiar with the process said.

Although shareholders sent a clear signal of dissatisfaction, some said it would not be wise to wipe out a almost full slate of directors at once.

"We do want a core of directors left able to reconstitute the board", said Anne Simpson, investment director of sustainability at Calpers, which opposed nine directors. "Simply declaring "off with their heads" is not reasonable".

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