CEO Says Wells Fargo Has Transformed After Scandals; Lawmakers Are Skeptical
15 Mars, 2019, 13:28 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
Tim Sloan faced skeptical lawmakers Tuesday as the Wells Fargo CEO argued he remains the right person to lead the scandal-stained bank.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have both introduced legislation that would break up Wells Fargo, and Warren has been calling for Sloan to be fired since the fake-account scandal broke in late 2016.
Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., asked the executive how many federal consent orders exist against the company: 14. Workers told reporters the goals were unattainable, similar to the ambitious sales targets that had driven Wells Fargo workers to open unauthorized accounts in the past.
Lawmakers could also ask about the bank's decision to cut thousands of U.S.jobs, its pledge to boost stock buybacks and its forced arbitration policy for customers.
"Again the reason we were one of the 17 or 19 banks that financed that is because our team reviewed the environmental impact and we concluded that it was a risk that we were willing to take", Sloan answered. They're conducting a hearing on Tuesday titled "Holding Megabanks Accountable: An Examination of Wells Fargo's Pattern of Consumer Abuses".
350 Silicon Valley says Wells Fargo Bank has a dirty-energy secret unknown to most-by its own admission the commercial bank is the biggest lender to the fossil-fuel industry. Wells Fargo has shaken up its executive ranks, raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour and given millions to charity, he told them.
Republicans also attacked the bank's record of misdeeds.
"The past few years have represented a hard chapter in Wells Fargo's storied history", Sloan, 58, said in prepared remarks.
"Wells Fargo is a better bank than it was three years ago, and we are working every day to become even better", Sloan, 58, read from his written testimony.
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Sloan on Tuesday said the bank has held "no conversations about that topic" with the bank regulator.
Wells Fargo was considered one of greater than a dozen monetary establishments to contribute financing to the undertaking, which has been attacked by its critics as environmentally unsafe and an encroachment upon Native American lands.
"I don't know how you'd calculate that, Congresswoman", Sloan said.
The Federal Reserve took unprecedented action on Wells Fargo's business in February of 2018, forcing the bank to replace four of its directors and capping its growth until the bank developed better risk-management practices.
Wells Fargo has admitted to several misdeeds over the past two years: opening millions of accounts that customers didn't want or ask for; improperly repossessing thousands of cars, including from some members of the military; mistakenly foreclosing on hundreds of homeowners; and miscalculating the fees it charges customers.
"OK, so these companies run private detention facilities run by ICE, which is involved in caging children, but I'll move on", Ocasio-Cortez conceded.
She went on to address Wells Fargo's financing of the Dakota Access Pipeline, asking whether the bank should be required to cover environmental clean-up costs if something went wrong.
Wells Fargo contends that it's made progress toward turning itself around, and that it's committed to making things right for its customers and earning back the public's trust.
"It doesn't feel like they've changed much of anything, to be honest", one of the employees, Meggan Halvorson, said in a statement. The bank has launched multiple marketingcampaigns hoping to fix its reputation as the scandals continue to pile up, repeatedly reassuring investors of its great progress during quarterly earnings calls.
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