“Our number one goal when we get up in the morning is not about making money, it’s about serving customers. That is the reason for a business. The result is you make money”
So, how the heck could Wells Fargo make money with lower rates? By being opportunistic in a decline.
“How you behave, and how you think about credit and serving customers in the boom times will allow you to have the capital and the capacity when the real opportunities come in the bad times,” Stumpf said.
As an example, Stumpf explained that in 2008 there were other mortgage lenders were making loans with little verification or deposit requirements. Wells Fargo did not participate in most of that activity, which allowed the company to use its capital to purchase Wachovia when things fell apart. Stumpf added that a large acquisition such as that could probably never happen again in the industry.
“We are essentially a main street bank. We do traditional banking. Some of it is quite sophisticated, but we are not a money center bank. We don’t corner aluminum markets; that’s not who we are,” Stumpf added. (Tweet This)
Ultimately, the CEO’s goal for Wells Fargo is not to make money. It is the thought process behind how the company goes to market and managing risk that will make the difference.