The following is an excerpt from Dan Freed and Ross Kerber | April 25, 2017 | reuters.com |
Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) shareholders showed displeasure with the scandal-hit bank's board on Tuesday, offering scant support for a dozen directors, including Chairman Stephen Sanger, in a vote capping a contentious annual meeting.
Only three directors received more than 90 percent support from voting shareholders, a benchmark cited by Sanger as what would be the outcome of a normal vote. He received just 56 percent approval.
"Wells Fargo stockholders today have sent the entire Board a clear message of dissatisfaction," Sanger said in a statement. "Let me assure you that the Board has heard that message, and we recognize there is still a great deal of work to do to rebuild the trust of stockholders, customers and employees."
The meeting, which ran nearly three hours, was repeatedly interrupted by angry shareholders seeking answers about how and why thousands of bank employees were able to open 2.1 million fake accounts in customers' names without their permission.
There was a brief recess after one shareholder made what Sanger called a "physical approach" toward a board member and was removed.
"You're saying we're out of order. Wells Fargo has been out of order for years!" said Bruce Marks, chief executive of Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, before being ejected.
Others were escorted out after ignoring pleas to simmer down from Sanger and Chief Executive Tim Sloan.
The directors who received weak support had faced negative recommendations from influential proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), which argued they failed in their oversight duties.
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