Senator Elizabeth Warren delivered a blistering descent of one of the CEOs of the nation on Monday.
Just weeks earlier, the Office of Financial Protection Consumer (CFPB) revealed Wells Fargo employees had created more than one million fake accounts checks for its customers since 2011, in a scheme to increase bank fees.
Warren took in Fargo CEO John Stumpf Wells at the hearing of the Senate Banking Committee, September 20, pinning him for his role in the scam-year company.
“Since this massive, year scandal came to light, you have repeatedly said, quote,” I am responsible, “said Warren Stumpf Monday.” But what have you done actually to be responsible. ”
He then proceeded to make very clear answer: Nothing.
In a series of rapid-fire questions, Warren revealed that the company had not fired any senior executives or repaid any of its executive bonuses. In a particularly brutal round of questions, she also found Stumpf had not paid any of their own income earned during the scam:
Warren: Have you returned one nickel of the millions of dollars you were paid while this scam was going on?
Stumpf: Well, first of all, this was by 1% of our people —
Warren: That’s not my question. This is about responsibility. Have you returned one nickel of the millions of dollars you were paid while this scam was going on?
Stumpf: The board will take care of that.
Warren: Have you returned one nickel of the money you earned while this was going on?
Stumpf: The board will take care of —
Warren: I will take that as a no then.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 20, 2016
Not content with a single smack-down, Warren then literally pulled out the receipts on Stumpf: transcripts of 12 different phone calls in which he bragged to investors about the number of accounts they opened per customer.
Later, Warren calculated Stumpf had made $200 million in his own company stock since the scam began. Then she drove home the sad irony of Wells Fargo’s response to the whole affair.
“You squeezed your employees to the breaking point so they would cheat customers, and you could drive up the value of your stock and put hundreds of millions of dollars in your own pocket,” Warren told Stumpf. “And when it all blew up, you kept your job, you kept your multi million dollar bonuses and you went on television to blame thousands of $12-an-hour employees who were just trying to meet cross-sell quotas that made you rich.”
The CFPB fined Wells Fargo $100 million on September 8 — the largest penalty in CFPB history. They also required the bank to refund all affected customers, and hire an independent consultant to review its procedures.
But Warren doesn’t think justice has been fully served.
“You should resign,” she told Trumpf. “You should give back the money that you took while this scam was going on, and you should be criminally investigated.”
You tell ‘em, Liz.