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Wells Fargo's Sloan says customer activity at bank has momentum and tax bill will add to that

  • Wells Fargo customer activity has "reasonable momentum" already and tax reform could boost that even more.
  • The bank is still targeting $4 billion in annual cost savings by the end of 2019.
Tim Sloan, CEO of Wells Fargo.
Andy Tenke | CNBC
Tim Sloan, CEO of Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo's CEO Tim Sloan said he was optimistic about continued economic growth, which is expected to get a boost from tax reform.

This is the first year in a while there has been sustained growth into the second half, he noted. Speaking at a banking conference organized by Goldman Sachs on Tuesday, Sloan said customer activity at Wells Fargo already had "reasonable momentum," and the anticipated passage of tax reform in Washington could create "a little bit more" momentum.

The bank is trying to recover from a fake account scandal that affected 3.5 million accounts and has had ongoing repercussions. In October, Sloan said Wells Fargo would achieve the growth it had lost during the period. On Tuesday he reiterated the bank's goals to cut $4 billion of annual expenses by the end of 2019, about half of that targeted to be achieved by the end of next year.

Wells Fargo has also been reviewing operations to identify areas where customers may have experienced harm, including in auto insurance, mortgage rate-lock extensions and the freezing or closing of accounts. The results of that review are nearly complete, Sloan said.

Correction: The Well Fargo fake accounts scandal affected 3.5 million accounts. An earlier version misstated the figure.