Schwartz, who lost a race last year for the top executive spot at Goldman to Lloyd Blankfein, is reportedly in talks with the California-based bank to replace Tim Sloan as CEO, according to a report from the New York Post, which cited two people briefed on the talks.
“The issue is that he does not want to move to Charlotte or San Francisco,” one source told the Post. (Wells Fargo’s East Coast headquarters is based in Charlotte, North Carolina).
A Wells Fargo spokesperson, however, denied the report.
“There’s no validity to any rumors that Wells Fargo is in talks with any potential candidates with respect to the CEO position," Cynthia Sugiyama said in a statement to FOX Business.
The country’s third-biggest bank is no stranger to controversy: In December, Wells Fargo agreed to pay a $575 million fine, a result of claims of millions of phony accounts across the country. The bank also agreed last year to pay close to $2.1 billion for misbehavior in its auto and mortgage businesses, like charging customers for auto insurance they didn’t need or pushing some to default on their loans and lose their cars through repossession.
As a result, the stakes are high at Wells Fargo to turn the company around; last week, Sloan testified on Capitol Hill in front of the House Financial Services Committee about the bank’s long history of predatory consumer practices.
During the hearing, Sloan, who has been with the company for 31 years, pledged that the scandals are being addressed.
“The reputational damage that our company has endured because of our mistakes has created significant damage...and it’s my job as CEO to make sure things change, and they are changing,” he told the panel.