Elizabeth Warren Slams Wells Fargo CEO as 'Gutless'

Says he should 'be criminally investigated'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2016 4:28 PM CDT
Warren: 'Gutless' Wells Fargo CEO 'Should Resign'
Sen. Elizabeth Warren questions Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren went after Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf during a Senate hearing Tuesday with the kind of heat she usually reserves for Donald Trump tweetstorms. "You should resign ... and you should be criminally investigated," NPR quotes Warren as saying. Stumpf was in front of the Senate banking committee after Wells Fargo employees created millions of fake accounts for customers without their permission in order to charge them extra fees. Stumpf said he was "deeply sorry" for what happened, New Republic reports. But—according to CNBC—he maintained it wasn't a "scam"—Warren's word—but a "way of deepening relationships" with customers.

Warren accused Stumpf of "gutless leadership" for passing responsibility for what happened away from himself and other senior executives while blaming "thousands of $12-an-hour employees who were just trying to meet cross-sell quotas that made you rich." The employees' cross-selling scheme was at least partially responsible for Wells Fargo stock going up, making Stumpf's shares alone gain $200 million in value. While more than 5,000 Wells Fargo employees were fired, none of the senior executives are losing their jobs. Warren said the only way Wall Street will be reformed is if CEOs like Stumpf start seeing jail time. She's one of only a few members of the Senate banking committee that hasn't gotten money from Wells Fargo's PAC. (Read more Elizabeth Warren stories.)

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