Warren Questions Whether Wells Fargo Heads Should Keep Jobs

Warren: Something Is 'Badly Broken' at Wells Fargo
  • Stumpf ‘needs to be held accountable,’ she says in interview
  • Senator says scandal shows big banks need to be broken up

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren questioned whether Wells Fargo & Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf should keep his job amid allegations that the bank opened millions of accounts without customers’ knowledge.

“He needs to be held accountable, as does the rest of his senior management,” Warren,  one of Wall Street’s loudest critics in Congress, said Thursday in a Bloomberg Television interview. “You should not be able to keep your job and keep raking in millions of dollars in bonuses."

Wells Fargo last week agreed to pay $185 million to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other regulators to resolve claims that employees opened more than 2 million accounts that consumers may not have known about. U.S. attorneys in New York and San Francisco have opened inquiries, a person familiar with the matter has said, adding that under Justice Department guidelines, investigators will look into both potential corporate and individual wrongdoing.

“Something is badly broken at this bank," said Warren, who will get a chance to grill Stumpf in person at a Sept. 20 Senate Banking Committee hearing.

“I’ve got a lot of questions for that man," the Massachusetts Democrat said of Stumpf.

Mark Folk, a Wells Fargo spokesman, said the bank didn’t have any comment on Warren’s remarks.

Warren said the Wells Fargo scandal reinforces her view that the biggest banks should be broken up, adding that she will continue to advocate for that step in the next Congress. She said Hillary Clinton would make a better president than Donald Trump in part because she has vowed to strengthen financial regulations that Republicans want to scrap.

“That’s important and that’s specific," Warren said in the interview.

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