Wells Fargo & Co. is expanding its credit-card offerings to compete with rivals, but the push “is just not rocket science,” Chief Executive Charlie Scharf said.
“Our product was uncompetitive,” Scharf said Tuesday at the Goldman Sachs U.S. Financial Services Conference. “Our rewards were not competitive, our customer service was not competitive, our credit lines were not competitive, our fraud experience, go on and on — all the things that make up great experiences with a card.”
In the two years since Scharf took over leadership of Wells Fargo, he’s repeatedly indicated that changes to the credit-card business are a priority. The bank is unusually lopsided among U.S. card issuers, ranking No. 2 in debit cards but No. 8 in credit cards, according to the Nilson Report newsletter.
Wells Fargo launched a roster of credit cards this year, beginning with a flat 2% cash-back rate on all spending with no annual fee. It also introduced a low-interest-rate card and is planning a rewards-card line next year.
Also among Scharf’s comments:
• Consumers have to 30% to 35% more in their deposit accounts now than they did before the Covid-19 pandemic, he said, adding that the figure is “pretty consistent” across wealth levels.
• “Inflation is very, very real,” Scharf said, adding that he’s “not nervous” about the Federal Reserve moving too quickly on interest rates. There’s “certainly a case to be made that they should be moving faster than they’ve been moving,” he said.
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Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He’s also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.