Wells Fargo takes a pasting, from Congress and a regulator

“YOU HAVE not been able to keep Wells Fargo out of trouble,” Maxine Waters told Tim Sloan, the chief executive of America’s fourth-biggest bank, on March 12th. Ms Waters, the Democrat who since January has chaired the House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee, is not alone in her ire. Patrick McHenry, the committee’s senior Republican, piled in too. Soon after Mr Sloan faced the panel, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), a regulator, said it was “disappointed” with Wells’s “performance under our consent orders”, corporate governance and risk management. “We expect national banks to treat their customers fairly, operate in a safe and sound manner, and follow the rules of law.” A public dressing-down from politicians is one thing; such a rebuke from a regulator is a true ear-burner.

Over the past three years a series of misdeeds has been uncovered at the San Francisco-based bank. Under pressure to meet demanding sales targets, staff opened 3.5m fake accounts and signed customers up for credit and debit cards without their consent. The bank charged people for car insurance they did not need and overcharged members of the armed forces for refinancing mortgages. Wells has had to set aside money to reimburse foreign-exchange and wealth-management clients. It has even had to refund mis-sold pet insurance.


via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

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