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Megabank CEOs Must Answer to America

April 10, 2019

Megabank CEOs Must Answer to America

Statements From Public Citizen Experts

Note: Today, the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee is holding a hearing with the CEOs of seven of the largest banks in the U.S. It is the first time since 2010 that most of these officers have testified before Congress. After this committee heard from Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan three weeks ago, he resigned.

“Committee members must press these CEOs on critical issues: why they are paid 1,000 times what their tellers earn; why and how they’ve escaped responsibility for admitted misconduct and for which they’ve paid $243 billion in fines; why they fired whistleblowers instead of culpable managers; and why they lobbied for deregulation so soon after a taxpayer bailout and while they’re making record profits.

“Implicit with every answer, committee members must assess whether these mere mortals can ensure that their sprawling, trillion-dollar firms will never falter. Close only counts in horseshoes; a small leak at a megabank means a tsunami on Main Street.”

– Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs

“The 2008 Wall Street crash made clear that these banks are too big to fail. Americans remember it and live daily with ongoing megabank misconduct. Yet since then, the megabanks have become larger and are making record profits – due in part to the huge giveaways in the 2017 corporate tax bill. Taxpaying families already have to pick up the tab for the cost of those tax handouts; we shouldn’t be forced to pay for another bank bailout as well.

“Chair Maxine Waters deserves huge credit for focusing needed attention on a rarified group of individuals who have abused their power over everyday citizens and our economy.”

– Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division