Wells Fargo president retiring after 33 years

Filed under: Banking & Finance |

Don Sall will hang up his hat as Wells Fargo’s regional president for the greater Colorado region when he retires at the end of the year.

Saul, who joined the bank in 1973 and spent the last 13 years in Colorado Springs, made the retirement announcement last week.

As president, Sall manages Wells Fargo’s banking operations in Greater Colorado and oversees more than 1,300 team members at about 70 branches in 30 communities.

Before taking his current role in 2003, Sall served as regional manager for the community banking branches in southern and western Colorado.

Sall has made himself familiar in the Colorado Springs community by serving on numerous boards, including the Greater Colorado Springs Economic Development Corporation, Colorado Springs Technology Incubator, Memorial Hospital Foundation, Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, Pikes Peak United Way, Urban League of the Pikes Peak Region, Colorado Springs Symphony, Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Association, Colorado Springs Leadership Institute, the Colorado Golf Association and the Colorado Bankers Association.

Bernankenomics 101: Fed’s syllabus uncertain

Ben Bernanke is not Alan Greenspan.

That’s clear, but what isn’t clear yet is just how Bernanke, the new Federal Reserve Chairman who was sworn in to his post Feb. 1, will differ from his predecessor and how his leadership will guide the economy.

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Director of Economic Education John Brock spoke at the Adams Bank quarterly breakfast forum last week and gave his opinions about what Americans might expect.

Bernanke is likely to show a philosophy and approach that’s similar to Greenspan’s, however Bernanke has already shown one difference, Brock said.

While Greenspan remained mum about inflation projections and targets, Brock said Bernanke will openly set inflation goals.

But, Bernanke will probably show the same unwillingness to prevent asset bubbles from forming and simply take measures clean them up after they burst, Brock said.

And, overall, Bernanke will continue the Fed’s path of transparency about policy making and interest rate hikes, something that wasn’t prevalent before the mid-1990s.

“Prior to Greenspan and prior to 1994, we had to guess what the target rate was, now it’s clear,” Brock said. “The last thing the Fed wants to do is surprise investors.”

For all that’s known or can be speculated about Bernanke, it gives little indication whether the Federal Reserve will continue its trend of 16 consecutive rate hikes when it meets next month.

“What do I think the Fed is going to when they meet in late June, I don’t know,” Brock said.

FDIC chair outlines Basel II objectives

Acting Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Martin Gruenberg last week outlined capital objectives in the proposed Basel II, a set of international standards for how largest banks calculate their capital levels.

The objectives include a 10 percent downward limit on aggregate reduction of minimum risk-based capital, comparable capital requirements for similar portfolios to minimize dispersion, a level playing field between institutions which participate in Basel II and those which do not, and retention of the leverage ratio and prompt corrective action inconsistencies.

Gruenberg’s comments came during a speech last week before the Conference of State Bank Supervisors in Norfolk, Virginia.

Gruenberg told supervisors that Basel II was intended to bring about technical improvements in the risk-sensitivity of bank capital in the United States while broadly maintaining the overall level of risk-based capital requirements, according to an FDIC release.

Gruenberg also noted that bankers should keep in mind that the United States has enjoyed an unusual period of sustained economic growth with only a mild recession over the past decade. He said it would be a mistake to take for granted that the next 10 years will be equally benign.

Wells Fargo seeking grant applicants

Wells Fargo is seeking applications from nonprofit organizations for the 13th annual Wells Fargo Community Assistance Fund.

Applications are available at all Colorado Wells Fargo branches throughout the state, are due June 30, 2006.

Through the fund Wells Fargo will contribute $260,000 to nearly 200 qualified community-based nonprofit organizations.

The average grant ranges from $500 to $1,500, and organizations must be certified 501c(3) and have an annual budget of $350,000 or less to be eligible.

Ent aids in hospital construction

Ent Federal Credit Union will chip in $10,000 for the construction costs for Pikes Peak Regional Hospital.

The hospital will be built in Teller County, where one of Ent’s 20 service centers is also located.

The hospital site is 1.5 miles west of Woodland Park on U.S. Highway 24.

Builders broke ground on the hospital April 21, and final planning approvals for engineering and construction are expected, but pending.

Rob Larimer covers banking and finance for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.