Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan Testifies Before House Committee

Mar 12, 2019
Originally published on March 12, 2019 3:31 pm

The chief executive of Wells Fargo faced another round of testy hearings on Tuesday before a Congressional panel about the bank's series of violations that have resulted in more than $3 billion in fines in the last three years. Rep. Maxine Waters, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, scolded CEO Tim Sloan for what she said is continued customer abuse.

"With all of this experience, the length of time you have been there and the roles that you have played, you have not been able to keep Wells Fargo out of trouble, you keep getting fined," Walters told Sloan. "All the changes that you have said that you made are not evident and you do not have the kind of customer satisfaction that you are alluding to. Again, is Wells Fargo too big to manage?"

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The bank's scandals have included millions of unauthorized accounts to meet high-pressure sales goals, improperly repossessing cars, overcharging small businesses for credit card transactions and accidentally foreclosing on homeowners due to a software glitch.

Sloan said since assuming the role of chief executive, he's implemented a culture where the customer comes first.

"Well, I believe that Wells Fargo serves our 70 million customers— one out of three U.S. households — in a very effective way today," Sloan said. "And I think the way in which we serve our customers is reflective of the changes I've made since I've become CEO."

Tough questions came from both sides of the aisle. Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina — where Wells Fargo has a large presence — said that the bank has entered into settlements with every single one of its federal regulators. He added that the bank's behavior has real world consequences for its customers.