A Bank Defends Las Vegas Party

ABC's Tom Shine from Washington, DC:

On Wednesday, John Stumpf, the President and CEO of Wells Fargo will appear before Barney Frank's House Financial Services Committee.  But before he's grilled by a very angry congress, Stumpf is trying to convince an equally angry public that those stories in the media about expensive, wasteful junkets are "deliberately misleading." On Sunday Wells Fargo bought full page ads in the New York Times and Washington Post to proclaim those trips being planned were not junkets, but employee recognition events to thank and inspire team members who have worked very hard, like "our terrific mortgage team who helped us originate $230 billion in mortgages in the last year."  Stumpf went on to say that the money for the recognition events would have come from company profits and not from the taxpayer financed bailout and he said canceling the events hurt not only his employees, "but the workers who depend on their business, the hospitality industry, hotel housekeepers, restaurant servers, the airlines."  The CEO closed by saying "since we aren't thanking our award winners in person this year, we'll have to do it this way.  Thank you, all out 281,000 team members.  You are the best!" CITI and Bank of America, whose CEOs will also face Frank and company on Wednesday took out full page ads in both papers too with Bank of America saying we're taking the trust and faith that America has put in us and getting to work--by lending and investing..." But it will likely take much more than Full Page ads to convince congress and the public.

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