U.S. lawmakers criticize Wells Fargo CEO during hearing

By Ray Downs  |  Oct. 4, 2017 at 2:24 AM
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Oct. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. Senators grilled the CEO of Wells Fargo Tuesday after the bank's top executive admitted the company created an over-aggressive sales culture that resulted in the creation of millions of fake accounts.

Wells Fargo chief Timothy Sloan faced the lawmakers to explain his company's actions regarding the fake account scandal and several others that have rocked the bank over the past year.

"At best you are incompetent, at worst you were complicit," Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., told him. "Either way, you should be fired."

Millions of unauthorized accounts were created by Wells Fargo employees, which customers didn't know about until they started accumulating fees. Later, it was revealed that Wells Fargo was also charging people for unnecessary auto insurance. Some military members even got their cars repossessed.

"I am deeply sorry for letting down our customers and team members," Sloan said. "I apologize for the damage done to all the people who work and bank at this important American institution."

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said Sloan and other Wells Fargo executives haven't done enough to change how the bank operates.

"The changes Mr. Sloan and his team have made are not sufficient to reform a corporate culture that is willing to abuse its customers and employees in an effort to pad its numbers and increase executive compensation," Brown said.

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La. Was more blunt.

"What in God's name were you thinking?" he asked the CEO of one of the largest banks in the United States. "I'm not against big. With all due respect, I'm against dumb."

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