Press Releases

Waters: Wells Fargo Must be Held Accountable

Washington, DC, August 31, 2017

Today, in response to a report revealing that Wells Fargo opened an additional 1.4 million fraudulent bank accounts and 528,000 unauthorized online bill pay enrollments without their customers’ knowledge or permission, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, made the following statement:

“Wells Fargo’s misdeeds are egregious, and they must be held accountable for their many abuses of American consumers. By opening fraudulent accounts without the knowledge of their customers, Wells Fargo effectively ruined some of their customers’ credit scores, causing great harm. It is important to note that the third-party review released today only looks back until 2009, and we know that there were instances of this practice at Wells Fargo dating back to at least 2002, meaning that the total number of fraudulent accounts that they opened may be much larger.

“Wells Fargo has made a routine practice of ripping off and preying on their customers, in a seemingly never-ending avalanche of scandals in which servicemembers, minorities, homeowners, small business owners and many other consumers have been targeted and abused by the bank. This disgraceful, illegal, and widespread misconduct is exactly why I will be introducing legislation that breaks up banks—like Wells Fargo—that repeatedly engage in consumer abuses, so that they can never harm consumers again.”

Earlier this month, Ranking Member Waters and other committee Ranking Members wrote to Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling requesting a public hearing to review the ongoing violations of consumer rights by Wells Fargo.

In July, Ranking Member Waters released a Democratic staff report documenting the successes of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, including the $100 million fine they charged to Wells Fargo for secretly opening fraudulent accounts.

In March, Ranking Member Waters sent a letter to Timothy J. Sloan, Chief Executive Officer of Wells Fargo, regarding the refusal of Wells Fargo executives to be interviewed by Democratic Committee staff regarding the bank's fraudulent account scandal. To date, Wells Fargo executives have not submitted to interviews with Democratic staff.


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