The Elizabeth Warren Wells Fargo investigation has called for CEO John Stumpf’s criminal prosecution. Wells Fargo employees opened over two million credit card and bank accounts without the knowledge of its customers. Those accounts then racked up fees. The fees have since been refunded and the accounts closed, with $185 million in fines levied against the big bank. 5,300 employees have also been let go. Warren said she was unimpressed by the firings since the scam was not instigated by low-level employees but by a culture that aggressively pushes the hard upsell of additional accounts.
Elizabeth Warren: Wells Fargo CEO Must Resign
The CNN video below gives the highlights of the Elizabeth Warren Wells Fargo interview. Warren asked CEO John Stumpf if he had resigned after the scam was discovered. He said no. She asked if he had returned one nickel of the millions of dollars he personally earned while the scam was going on. He said he hadn’t. She asked if he had fired one senior manager over the scam. He said no. Warren pointed out that Stumpf has said he is “accountable” for the mess. She said his definition of that word appears to be blaming low level employees, since 5,300 of those have been fired. She called that “gutless leadership.”
Full Elizabeth Warren Wells Fargo Video
The full Elizabeth Warren Wells Fargo video is below. Warren said CEO John Stumpf himself is responsible for the extra accounts debacle. She said other big banks average less than three accounts per customer. Meanwhile Stumpf set the Wells Fargo target at eight accounts per customer. She said this decision was made irrespective of customer needs. The corporate culture directive boosted Wells Fargo’s stock price by a massive amount in response to the strong cross-sell numbers. Warren reminded Stumpf that while the situation was playing out, Stumpf’s own personal Fargo Stock holdings increased by over $200 million.
Fox News Economist Calls Out Elizabeth Warren Wells Fargo Criticism
On Tuesday, Vident Financial economist Jerry Bowyer said he loved everything about the Elizabeth Warren Wells Fargo attack except that she was the one doing it. Bowyer called the experience of watching Wells Fargo John Stumpf being called on the carpet “cathartic.” Bowyer said there is a lot wrong with the company, which is why Vident hasn’t held Fargo in their portfolio for years. He told Fox Business that the company has serious governance problems but that he’s not sure why Warren is the right person to point that out. Bowyer went as far as to say, “If he should resign, and I think he should, she should resign too.” When asked to account for his accusation of Warren, he explained that Warren is the “mother” of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and that the bureau didn’t catch the problem.
Bowyer continued to criticize the Elizabeth Warren Wells Fargo attack. When challenged whether he would feel safe if Wells Fargo opened a bank account in his name, Bowyer said he wouldn’t. He went on to say that he also wouldn’t feel safe with Warren in charge of the regulation that let that situation happen. Bowyer added that the Fargo CEO should be overseen by the board but that he is in charge of the board, making him totally unaccountable. He said the best way to hold Fargo accountable is if brokerages like his don’t invest in them.