In a repeat of what she said almost exactly one year ago, when Senator Elizabeth Warren told then-Wells Fargo CEO Stumpf “You should resign, you should be criminally investigated” – not long before Stumpf indeed resigned, moments ago the kangaroo court was back in session and Warren doubled down her attack on Stumpf’s replacement, Wells CEO Tim Sloan, blasting that he should be fired as he was part of a culture that pushed the bank to create millions of fake accounts for customers without their knowledge.
In prepared testimony, Sloan apologized for the creation of unauthorized accounts and said the bank has hired back more than 1,000 workers who were wrongly fired or left under a cloud. In late August, Wells admitted that as many as 3.5 million accounts were created for customers without their permission, nearly 70% more than originally thought. The scandal led to the departure of several executives including former CEO John Stumpf.
While the practice had been going on for years at the bank, it only became public last year, when Wells agreed to pay a $185 million settlement with regulators. Since then, it was revealed that the tactics extended to enrolling customers in auto insurance that they didn’t need as we previously reported and as CNBC noted. Wells paid a $142 million class-action settlement and $2.8 million in refunds to affected customers.
Meanwhile, Warren attacked Sloan over his past comments to investors, saying he “bragged” about high levels of new accounts even though he was aware of sales-practice problems at the bank: “You went to the stock market and you bragged about it,” Warren said at the Senate Banking Committee hearing Tuesday.
“At best you were incompetent, at worst you were complicit,” the Massachusetts Democrat lashed out at Sloan, adding that “either way, you should be fired” as “you enabled this fake account scam, you got rich off it, and you tried to cover it up.”