Too Big to Manage: Wells Fargo Can’t Fix Itself

March 11, 2019

Too Big to Manage: Wells Fargo Can’t Fix Itself

Statement of Bartlett Naylor, Financial Policy Advocate, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division

Note: On Tuesday, March 12, Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan will testify before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee. Since revelations in 2016 that Wells Fargo created 3.5 million fraudulent accounts, media reports and the bank’s own admissions show that it has wrongly evicted homeowners, falsified appraisals, overcharged college students, sold unneeded car insurance and more.

Wells Fargo executives have pledged to root out and terminate misconduct for years. Despite making this commitment, hiring independent investigators and reshuffling its board, revelations of new problems have become routine.

Congress must demand answers to questions about the bank’s existential problems: Are any Wells Fargo executives facing criminal prosecution? How can Tim Sloan, who helped create the current culture, correct the problem? With nearly $2 trillion in assets and widespread misconduct, how can such a bank be managed? Why shouldn’t Wells Fargo be broken up?

The time for commitment to reform has long passed. Wells Fargo is an ongoing fiasco that is too big to manage. Congress must learn the painful lessons of the Wall Street crash and advance legislation to break up Wells Fargo and other megabanks that are too big to manage.

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