Wells Fargo CEO apologizes before Congress for accounts scandal

One Senator’s response: You should be fired

Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan testified before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, saying he is “deeply sorry,” for the fake accounts scandal perpetrated by bank employees.

During the testimony, Sloan was slammed by members of Congress, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who criticized, “You should be fired.”

“Wells Fargo is not going to change with you in charge,” Warren said.

In response, Sloan acknowledged the bank’s mistakes, but reassured the committee of the bank’s fundamental changes to how it does business since last year.

“The past year has been humbling and challenging,” Sloan said. “We are resolving past problems even as we make changes to ensure nothing like this happens again at Wells Fargo.”

“We are doing this by strengthening our culture, holding leaders accountable, and improving our business practices and risk management,” he said in his testimony.

The fallout from Wells Fargo’s fake accounts scandal has been rightfully significant, but if Warren has her way, the fallout will extend to a place it’s barely touched so far – Wells Fargo’s boardroom. In June, Warren sent a letter to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, asking the Fed to remove all 12 of Wells Fargo’s board members who served on the board from 2011 through 2015, the time period that the fake account scandal took place.

Back in September, the bank was fined $150 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the city and county of Los Angeles for more than 5,000 of the bank’s former employees opening as many as 2 million fake accounts in order to get sales bonuses.

Sloan explained that, along with the banks employees, the bank is working to make things right for the consumers it harmed.

“The entire Wells Fargo team, all 270,000 of us, is committed to making things right for customers the bank let down,” he said. “This is a big job, and we will get it right.”

After the scandal, the bank said that more than 5,000 employees had already been let go. But since then, the bank agreed to pay at least $142 million to the affected customers, several states and cities cut off their business dealings with the bank, the bank’s CEO and a number of senior executives stepped down, and more executives were terminated by the bank.

As a result of the scandal, Sloan took over as CEO when former CEO John Stumpf stepped down in October 2016.

“Wells Fargo is a better bank today than it was a year ago,” Sloan said. “And next year, Wells Fargo will be a better bank than it is today.”

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