Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, convened a full committee hearing entitled, “Holding Megabanks Accountable: Oversight of America’s Largest Consumer Facing Banks.” With an ongoing pandemic, rising interest rates and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, economic conditions for families are worsening. During today’s hearing, Committee Democrats, under the leadership of Chairwoman Waters explored a number of issues impacting consumers, including:
- Rise of bank mergers, which has closed branches across the country and expanded banking deserts for communities that rely on banking services
- Efforts to close the nation’s widening racial-wealth gap and build on the commitments they made following the murder of George Floyd
- Efforts to make consumers harmed by Equifax whole again.
- These institutions repeated violation of the law, earning them the title “repeat offenders.”
- Rise of emerging technologies, and how these banks are making whole consumers scammed through payments apps like Zelle.
- Efforts to protect employees following the Supreme Court’s shameful decision to abolish Roe v. Wade and their efforts to combat gun violence.
Read Chairwoman Waters’ opening statement.
View photos here:
During Chairwoman Waters’ line of questioning, the Chairwoman grilled Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf, about reporting that, in an effort to increase its record on diversity efforts, the bank conducted fake job interviews with Black, female and other minority candidates, even though there was already a white man hired to fill that spot.
Following the hearing, Chairwoman Waters committed to continue leading the Committee’s effort to crack down on the nation’s bank. Since Waters assumed chair and convened these annual hearings, banks have testified before the Committee a total of three times. This aggressive, consistent oversight has moved banks to make major updates to their policies, including significant changes to overdraft fees, racial equity commitments, efforts to invest in underserved communities and more. Chairwoman Waters vowed to continue this historic oversight effort.
Watch the full hearing here.