Tim Sloan is out as CEO of the beleaguered Wells Fargo. The news sparked curiosity and hope among crypto players that his replacement is more open to the space than Sloan.
While Wells Fargo execs were mum about who’d replace Sloan, the rumor mill chatter quickly began to spin. Making the list are several people from J.P. Morgan.
Before you say that’s a wrap considering the outrageous comments its CEO Jamie Dimon has made about cryptos, just wait. Some of these people have expressed being open to cryptos. No matter, if the choice is someone who thinks differently, and not like a banking vet, the space is in for a treat.
The many scandals that plagued the Wells Fargo, including the setting up of millions of fake checking and savings accounts, are part of the reason Sloan says he’s retiring. Even though he wasn’t CEO during the fake account mess, Sloan said he didn’t want to be a distraction as the bank continues to try to get back in the good graces of consumers and regulators.
That’s fine with crypto players who took issue with his Debbie Downer views of cryptos. With him at the helm of Wells Fargo, crypto acceptance in the traditional financial world has been hindered.
Word on the street is that Wells Fargo plans to bring in an outsider to replace Sloan who had more than 30 years in the traditional banking business. That contributed to his crypto pessimism.
The old school banking train of thought has led many veterans to bark at the new-fangled crypto space. Goldman Sachs’ CEO Lloyd Blankfein even admitted that he was resistant to Bitcoin because of its newness.
Fresh, outside talent should include those who are don’t carry the mindset of the traditional, banking players. One such person is Marianne Lake, the CFO of JP Morgan.
In 2017, during a quarterly earnings call, Lake reportedly said:
“We are very open minded to the potential use cases in future for digital currencies that are properly controlled and regulated.”
Then there’s Gordon Smith, co-President of J.P. Morgan. His name came up in “nearly every conversation” with investors as a potential successor, according to CNBC. It was referring to Bank of America analyst Erika Najarian who made the comment in a March 11 note.
The issue here is that Smith is viewed as a likely successor to longtime CEO Dimon. While his fellow co-president has said JPMorgan is “looking into” cryptocurrencies, Smith hasn’t flat out commented one way or the other.
No matter who takes the helm at Wells Fargo, observers are looking for the leader to be less resistant to cryptos.
Shone Anstey, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of (BIG), a blockchain-agnostic analytics platform based in Vancouver, told CCN.com:
Banks at this time should not be concerning themselves with 99% of the cryptocurrencies out there as these are essentially science projects developing new technology. They should, however, be getting active with Bitcoin.
Anstey added that the threat to banks is not cryptos, but it is instead the entry into the payments space by tech firms.
They would love nothing more than to take a 600-year-old banking industry and turn on it on its head, and they will use the Bitcoin network to do it. They are the masters of the internet, and Bitcoin is merely an extension of they already dominate.
Anstey predicts that within the next five to 10 years, Wall Street will compete directly with Silicon Valley in banking across cryptocurrency networks.
Last modified: May 20, 2020 4:05 AM UTC