Wells Fargo CEO promises bank transparency, accountability

Washington-DC

Lawmakers on Tuesday grilled Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — A year-long Congressional staff investigation found that Wells Fargo continues to commit abuses that impact customers.

Lawmakers on Tuesday grilled Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf, wanting to know exactly what is going to be done to resolve the allegations.

“The bank you inherited is essentially a lawless organization,” said Maxine Waters (D-AC). “There are currently dozens of consumer abuses that each affect more than 50,000 customers or accounts or require more than $10 million in remediation.”

Wells Fargo already agreed to billions of dollars worth of settlements for violations that included opening accounts in customers’ names without their consent and recommending risky investments to senior citizens.

The bank is under five different consent decrees from government agencies requiring a number of steps to correct its wrongdoing.

But Congresswoman Katie Porter says the company is not doing enough to repay consumers, for example, for gap insurance they no longer needed.

“This is how much you owe: $600 million. This is how much you’ve returned: zero,” said Porter (D-CA).

Beyond meeting regulatory requirements, Scharf says his top goal is making the bank more transparent and accountable.

“I’m confident we can do what is necessary to move this company in a significantly improved direction,” Scharf said.

Still, Democrats wonder if Wells Fargo is simply too big and are exploring whether the bank should be broken up. But Scharf and committee Republicans said the bank’s previous culture — and not its size — caused the problems.

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