John Stumpf's decision to retire eases only one headache for Wells Fargo and the banking industry, with many more to come.
The scandal over illegal cross-selling at Wells serves as a reminder of how far banks have yet to go to recover the public trust they lost after the 2008 financial crisis.
As for Wells individually, the departure of its much-vilified CEO helps the bank rehabilitate its image, at least in front of investors if not the general public. But questions will persist about what is next on the regulatory horizon.
"Everyone wanted to have someone's head on a plate and now they do," said Brian Kleinhanzl, an analyst at financial services firm Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. "Now that he's gone, you go on to the next discussion."
Three issues will be taking center stage not only for Wells Fargo but also the $16 trillion U.S. banking industry: whether to start breaking up the big Wall Street institutions; separating the roles of chairman and CEO; and corporate governance rules that allow a bank chief executive who's under fire to walk away relatively unscathed outside of reputational damage.