In the midst of swirling controversy tied to sham accounts at Wells Fargo, CEO John Stumpf has said he intends to keep his position at the helm of the company. The executive was quoted on CNBC as stating: “I think the best thing I could do right now is lead this company and lead this company forward.”
As widely reported, Wells Fargo last week was fined $185 million by regulators, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, for bank employee practices that included opening bank and credit card accounts that were not given the green light by customers. As a result, after an investigation, roughly 5,300 Wells Fargo employees were fired. On Tuesday (Sept. 13), the firm said it had removed product sales requirements for its workers.
Stumpf told the news channel: “To the extent that we don’t get it right 100 percent of the time, because that is our goal, if we don’t make that plan, I am responsible. I am accountable. Anybody else in the company, we all feel, when we fall short of that plan, we feel accountable and responsible. And we are taking action. “
Separately, the sham accounts have garnered interest on Capitol Hill. Members of the Senate Banking Committee on the Republican side of the aisle are slated to meet with officials from Wells Fargo. That hearing is slated for Sept. 20. There have also been inquiries about whether the false accounts targeted seniors, as queried by senators on the Senate committee on aging.
And in other news tied to the legislative impact that might be wrought by Wells Fargo’s actions, in the House of Representatives, Republicans have advanced legislation that would undo at least part of the Dodd-Frank Act, ending, among other things, bank bailouts. But that might be stymied by hesitation to undo Dodd-Frank meaningfully or weaken the CFPB.