Wells Fargo to pay $24M over military loan violations

Posted October 01, 2016

"If OCC had examiners on site at Wells Fargo during the time when these fraudulent accounts were opened and the CFPB was conducting regular examinations, why did it take the LA Times to expose it?"

Stumpf's inability to answer some questions, such as how many employees blew the whistle and whether bonuses varied by branch, frustrated lawmakers. In Washington, came still more blistering attacks on John Stumpf, whose grip atop embattled Wells Fargo & Co., the largest US mortgage lender, remains tenuous amid the uproar over a scandal involving unauthorized accounts. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) called the case "some of the egregious fraud we have seen since the financial crisis".

"You are the CEO and you don't know if there were prospecting lists that each worker was asked to make cold calls on?"

"Do you think what you did was criminal?"

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Federal prosecutors and the bank's regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, are planning to punish the San Francisco-based lender for alleged violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, said the people, who asked not to be named because the investigation isn't public.

"You ought to be downright ashamed of yourself", Rep. David Scott (D., Ga.) told the 63-year-old chief executive.

Though Mr. Stumpf came to the committee with a few more details to share, he was often cut off by the dozens of representatives eager to use their allotted time in their last hearing before the November election to criticize the bank and Mr. Stumpf's leadership.

"I respect and accept the board's decisions", Stumpf said in his opening remarks. The bank has fired 5,300 employees, although none of its top managers.

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The petition, Rolf said Friday, follows action by California State Treasurer John Chiang, who suspended Wells Fargo's "highly profitable business relationships" with the Golden State for one year, or beyond that if Chiang finds that the big bank has "reengaged in the same behavior".

The Justice Department launched its investigation into the bank's practices following a complaint on behalf of Army National Guardsman Dennis Singleton, whose vehicle was repossessed as he was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. Stumpf said he "thought it was a good way to show a start to my level of commitment", adding the board can do more if it wants.

"That's the first I've ever heard of that", Stumpf responded.

Lawmakers singled out Stumpf, accusing him of being either complicit in the activity or woefully unaware of what was happening at the bank he ran. Stumpf said the sale was unrelated. "It's coming", Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Massachusetts) told Stumpf during Thursday's hearing.

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"The timing is very, very suspicious", Maloney said.