One of the key panels at the convention features Palomarez interviewing Wells Fargo chief executive Tim Sloan. Wells Fargo, the third-largest U.S. bank, has admitted that some 3.5 million fake accounts were opened without the knowledge of customers by employees seeking to meet aggressive sales goals. Hispanic consumers were particularly targeted.
“Well, we are going to talk exactly about that,” Palomarez said. “Not only the challenges that they are facing, but how can the public rest assured that Wells Fargo is putting the proper procedures in place?”
The scandal resulted in regulatory fines of $185 million last year, and the bank settled a class-action suit for another $142 million this year. On Tuesday, a day after the tete-a-tete with Palomarez in Dallas, Sloan is scheduled to answer questions from members of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee in Washington about the fake-account scandal.
Hispanic businesses and consumers are an increasingly important and growing part of the North Texas economy, according to Edward Rincon, president of Rincon & Associates, a Dallas-based consumer research firm. There are at least 117,582 businesses in D-FW that are run by Hispanics, Rincon said, citing recent research.
“Businesses — non-Hispanic and Hispanic — that depend on labor have seen a chilling effect with losing their workforce. Some of the impact is felt in our community here,” Rincon said.
Palomarez described Hispanics as vital in the agriculture, construction and hospitality industries and cited the contributions of high-skilled immigrants who are working in technology.
“We represent a broad swath of the American economy,” Palomarez said.