Throughout Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf’s rough day in front of the House Financial Services Committee, multiple representatives called for the bank to be broken up, suggesting that the megabank is simply too big to manage effectively.
But as the five-hour hearing neared its conclusion, the ranking member of the committee, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., went beyond her fellow representatives’ calls to break up Wells Fargo, stating that she is going to actually move to break up the bank.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that Wells Fargo should be broken up,” Waters said. "It’s too big to manage and I’m moving forward to break up the bank.”
According to a represenative from Waters' office, Waters told reporters after the hearing that she plans to pursue legislation to break up the bank.
Waters' declaration that action will be taken to break up the bank goes beyond what other representatives said during Stumpf’s appearance.
“This bank is too big to manage and it’s time to break them up,” Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., said earlier in the hearing.
But given Waters’ status on the committee as the highest ranking Democrat, the pledge to move forward on breaking up the bank carries more weight.
Now, whether any effort to break up Wells Fargo could actually make its way through Congress and then the White House is an entirely different discussion.
And obviously if any effort to break up the bank proves successful, the impact on the mortgage market could be significant considering Wells Fargo's standing as both a mortgage originator and mortgage servicer. Stumpf said Thursday that his bank is the largest mortgage originator in the country.