It may take another quarter or two for growth rate to pick up, Wells Fargo CFO says

Wells Fargo CFO: We're growing at a slower rate

Wells Fargo is "growing at a slower rate" in the wake of the fake accounts scandal and it could take a bit more time for that expansion to pick up, the company's chief financial officer, John Shrewsberry, told CNBC on Friday.

The bank was fined in 2016 for creating false accounts for about 2 million customers, and it is now rolling out a new program that is more customer-based than sales-oriented.

"It could take another quarter or two before people really understand it, before they're well-trained and before we see what impact that has on dealing with new customers who are shopping for a new bank or looking for a new banking product," Shrewsberry said in an interview with "Closing Bell."

"I wouldn't expect a pivot right now. The rate of growth may still be a little bit lower but again these are rates of growth off of huge bases of customers. We have … more than 20 million primary checking customers and we are still growing," he added.

A pedestrian walks in front of Wells Fargo & Co. headquarters in San Francisco, California.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The beleaguered bank saw a 40 percent year-over-year decline in new checking accounts opened in December 2016 and a 43 percent drop in credit card applications in the same month.

On Friday morning, Wells Fargo reported earnings that missed on the top and bottom line. Despite that, its stock rose 1.5 percent on the day as analysts appeared to dig deeper into the numbers.

Shrewsberry called it a "strong quarter overall."

Tail wind coming

Meanwhile, the incoming Trump administration's new policies and a more business-friendly environment should be good news for Wells Fargo and the rest of the banking sector, Shrewsberry said.

President-elect Donald Trump has promised to cut taxes and reduce regulation, which he says should spur economic growth.

"A higher short- and long-term rate environment feels much more probable today because of the policy proposals that are being bandied about by the new administration," he said. "I would describe that as a tail wind coming."

— CNBC's Jeff Cox and Silvana Henao contributed to this report.

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