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Waters Blasts Disappointing Wells Fargo Settlement; Reveals Ongoing Committee Investigation into Wells Fargo

In February 2019, under the leadership of Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, the Committee began an investigation into Wells Fargo’s compliance with five regulatory orders issued in response to the company’s widespread consumer abuses.

In March 2020, the Committee will announce the results of that investigation and hold three hearings on Wells Fargo:

  • March 10 at 10:00 AM – The full Committee will convene for a hearing entitled, “Holding Wells Fargo Accountable: CEO Perspectives on Next Steps for the Bank that Broke America’s Trust.”
    • Witness: Charles Scharf, Chief Executive Officer and President, Wells Fargo & Company

  • March 11 at 10:00 AM – The full Committee will convene for a hearing entitled, “Holding Wells Fargo Accountable: Examining the Role of the Board of Directors in the Bank’s Egregious Pattern of Consumer Abuses.”
    • Witnesses: Elizabeth A. Duke, Chair, Board of Directors, Wells Fargo & Company and James H. Quigley, Chair, Board of Directors, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

  • March 25 at 2:00 PM – The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will convene for a hearing entitled, “Holding Wells Fargo Accountable: Examining the Impact of the Bank’s Toxic Culture on Its Employees.”

See below for the Chairwoman’s statement regarding today’s disappointing settlement between Wells Fargo, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as well her plans to continue efforts to hold the bank accountable.

“Today’s $3 billion settlement represents half of the profit Wells Fargo received from the GOP Tax Scam, which allowed the bank to net $6 billion in tax breaks. This fine barely dents Wells Fargo’s $200 billion in profit over the last ten years. In short, this fine which is coupled with a deferred prosecution agreement, is the cost of doing business for a bank with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo must be fully accountable to the public for its crimes.

“Despite today’s settlement, these hearings and the Committee’s investigation will make clear that the problems at Wells Fargo remain unresolved.”

In March 2019, Chairwoman Waters convened a hearing entitled, “Holding Megabanks Accountable: An Examination of Wells Fargo's Pattern of Consumer Abuses” with Timothy Sloan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wells Fargo.

Shortly after Chairwoman Waters and Committee Democrats pressed Sloan about ongoing management failures and repeated consumer abuses, it came to light that he had received a $2 million bonus the previous year. Chairwoman Waters and Committee Democrats pushed for Sloan’s removal, and days later, he resigned.

In February 2018, then-Ranking Member Waters applauded the Federal Reserve Board’s announcement that it will restrict the growth of Wells Fargo until it sufficiently improves its governance and control, and replace its board members.

In September 2017, then-Ranking Member Waters released a Democratic staff report detailing a pattern of abusive business practices by Wells Fargo and finding that prudential regulators have not utilized the full extent of their authorities to end unlawful practices at megabanks like Wells Fargo.

In August 2017, then- Ranking Member Waters and other Committee Ranking Members wrote to former Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling requesting a public hearing to review the ongoing violations of consumer rights by Wells Fargo.


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