USA Today reports:
Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf told the Senate Banking Committee he was “deeply sorry” Tuesday over allegations the bank opened millions of accounts without customers’ permission in order to meet aggressive sales quotas. Sen. Elizabeth Warren was having none of it.
The Massachusetts senator has built a reputation for being tough on shady Wall Street dealings and the executives she believes are responsible. But she took it to the next level with Stumpf.
“OK, so you haven’t resigned. You haven’t returned a single nickel of your personal earnings. You haven’t fired a single senior executive,” Warren said. “Instead, evidently, your definition of accountable is to push the blame to your low-level employees who don’t have the money for a fancy P.R. firm to defend themselves. It’s gutless leadership.”
Stumpf — who earned $19.3 million last year — said he was “deeply sorry that we failed to fulfill our responsibility to our customers, to our team members, and to the American public,” but he rejected calls to return any executive compensation. He said he wanted to be “very clear that there was no orchestrated effort, or scheme as some have called it, by the company.”
Warren had a different view. “You squeezed your employees to the breaking point so they would cheat customers,” she said. “You should resign. You should give back the money you took while the scam was going on.” She also said Stumpf should be “criminally investigated.”