The boss of the world's most valuable bank stepped down after being roasted alive for weeks in an inferno of criticism
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren's tough questioning, along with that of her colleagues, was clear: a Big Bank had finally gone too far.
"You should resign. You should give back the money that you took while this scam was going on, and you should be criminally investigated," Warren told Stumpf.
At a Senate hearing this morning on Wells Fargo Bank's defrauding millions of customers by putting their deposits into fake accounts in order to meet sales goals, Elizabeth Warren hit the proverbial nail on the head: She noted that CEO John Strumf, in calls with Wall Street investment analysts, had repeatedly touted Well Fargo’s ability to sell more and more products to customers. Then he personally profited as investors pushed up the bank’s stock price -- generating gains that increased his own holding by about $200 million over several years.
Warren asked Stumpf to explain why he had not offered to give up any of his compensation — he made $19 million last year — or resign in the wake of the scandal. “Evidently your definition of accountable is to push the responsibility” to low-level, low-wage workers, Warren said. “It is gutless leadership. You should resign; you should give back the money.”
Bank employees say they were pushed hard to sell and feared being fired if they missed targets. The questionable tactics persisted even after Wells Fargo started to crack down on abuses.
Days after being fined $185 million by government regulators for allegedly illegal banking practices, Wells Fargo announces that it's ending its controversial employee sales goals.