Spotlight On: John Zimmerman, Regional Banking Director, Wells Fargo

Spotlight On: John Zimmerman, Regional Banking Director, Wells Fargo

2022-07-11T08:44:39-04:00May 31st, 2022|Banking & Finance, Philadelphia, Spotlight On|

John Zimmerman Wells Fargo2 min read May 2022The key to the future of the banking business is to develop a balance between technology and human interaction. In an interview with Invest:, John Zimmerman, regional banking director of Wells Fargo, said that is also his bank’s competitive advantage. Zimmerman also discussed the bank’s major areas of focus and how it is moving the needle in terms of sustainability.

What are a few milestones for the bank during the past 12 months?

In addition to helping our consumer and business customers succeed financially, we had a special focus on the community the past year. Through our Open for Business Fund, we donated more than $14 million to nonprofit organizations that work directly with small businesses across Pennsylvania, and the majority are located in the heart of Philadelphia. And we reconfirmed our commitment to small businesses through our HOPE, USA initiative, providing $1 million in grants to revitalize the 52nd St. Commercial Corridor in West Philly and supporting over 12 small businesses in the area. In addition, the block’s facade was enhanced, including new trees, plants and lighting, among other things, as well as all the spirit investing in the community. 

These Open for Business grants and our Hope, USA initiative was in addition to another $10 million in grants that we donated to nonprofits throughout Philadelphia last year. We also continue to address gaps in homeownership among people of color. We are working to create a more inclusive housing system within Philadelphia and nationwide. This past summer, we brought our signature housing program, the NeighborhoodLIFT program, back to Philadelphia, which was the third time in less than 10 years. The program offers $15,000 in down payment assistance to up to 300 eligible homebuyers.

What services are driving the most activity in Philadelphia?

Customer activity across the region and the country remains strong. We’re very focused on helping our customers through all stages of their finances, from the couple getting ready for retirement, the student preparing for college, the entrepreneur looking for a business to own or someone who wants to buy their first home. Those are all normal aspects of day-to-day banking. We’re also helping our commercial banking clients navigate the post-pandemic world as well as all the economic uncertainty that continues today. 

We’re continuing to see services migrate to our digital platforms. There has been a decline in how our customers leverage bank branches, but the branch still remains important. Customers can do a lot of activities on our mobile app. From ordering a new debit card to depositing a check, they can accomplish those simple tasks on their mobile device. 

So, our consumer and business customers are demanding more digital services and we’re spending a lot of our energy in this area. However, we have to balance the digital side with a meaningful human element. I think striking that balance is our competitive advantage. 

What are the major areas of focus for your business in the Philadelphia region?

For us, there are various areas of focus: we are helping consumers, small businesses, and middle-market companies to succeed. We are very focused on pursuing those segments because Philadelphia has so much potential and we provide products and services to help them reach their goals. We also want to be an employer of choice for all our business lines. In regard to our branch banking, we recently raised the minimum wage to $20 an hour in Philadelphia. 

What is Wells Fargo doing in terms of sustainability?

Our company has taken a broad stance on sustainability and on addressing climate change. In April 2022, Wells Fargo announced a newly created role of chief sustainability officer, which underscores the bank’s commitment to increasing its focus on mitigating climate change. There is the Wells Fargo Institute for Sustainable Finance, which includes climate advocacy and support for sustainable finance development. We also want our customers involved by signing up for paperless contact in a commitment to sustainability. This also allows our customers to leverage the app and easily access all their information and messages. Those are top priorities for Wells Fargo.

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