Credo Action

Stand with Sen. Warren: Remove the Wells Fargo board

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Petition to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors:

"Remove the entire Wells Fargo corporate board responsible for repeated wrongdoing and protect the continued safety and soundness of one of the country's largest banks."

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    Stand with Sen. Warren: Remove the Wells Fargo board

    Wells Fargo is completely broken. It seems like every few months, a new scandalous report emerges of Wells Fargo defrauding customers.

    In the latest, the bank stuck people with extra car insurance they did not need and walked away with $73 million while more than 25,000 people had their cars repossessed.1

    The bank keeps trying to blame low-level employees, but we all know the problems start at the top. That’s why we need to get behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s demand that the Federal Reserve remove Wells Fargo’s board of directors.

    Stand with Sen. Warren: Remove the Wells Fargo board.

    The frequency of Wells Fargo’s abuse is stunning:

    [T]he bank admitted it forced redundant car insurance on more than 800,000 car-loan borrowers, earning the company $73 million in ill-gotten gains while causing a quarter-million delinquencies and 25,000 wrongful auto repossessions. This comes as Wells tries to manage the fallout of its 2016 fake account scandal, where it generated 3.5 million unauthorized accounts to meet high sales goals. In the past month, Wells has also been accused of secretly changing the loan terms of mortgage borrowers in bankruptcy, falsifying records to charge mortgage applicants for its own delays in application processing, and stealing from mortgage bond investors to pay legal fees in lawsuits filed by those very same investors.2

    The Federal Reserve has the power to cut out the source of the rot by ordering the board to be replaced en masse. But so far the Fed has not used its authority, and as these scandals come to light, Wells Fargo has been trying to duck the pressure with cosmetic changes, including the resignation of its CEO.3

    As Sen. Warren puts it:

    “Letting a few board members retire early and shuffling around current board members simply doesn't cut it.”4

    That’s why we need to ratchet up the pressure right now.

    Stand with Sen. Warren: Remove the Wells Fargo board.

    Wells Fargo claims it is conducting an inquiry into its management structure, but if past efforts are any indicator, the final report will be another attempt at whitewashing and scapegoating retail employees who are following cues from the top and trying to save their jobs. In fact, there is increasing talk that Wells Fargo is too far gone and the federal government should revoke the bank’s charter and split it up into its various pieces.5

    Sen. Warren is asking for the very basic level of corporate accountability: That all the leaders who oversaw these repeated scandals face firing at least. Even the community banking industry group – the Independent Community Bankers of America – agrees with her.6 In an age when bankers get bailed out and escape jail, the least we can ask is for some executives to lose cushy seats on a corporate board.

    Stand with Sen. Warren: Remove the Wells Fargo board.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. David Dayen, “Give Wells Fargo the Corporate Death Penalty,” The New Republic, Aug. 1, 2017.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Pedro Nicolaci da Costa, “'Simply doesn't cut it': Elizabeth Warren slams Wells Fargo's board changes,” Business Insider, Aug. 17, 2017.
    4. Ibid.
    5. Dayen, “Give Wells Fargo the Corporate Death Penalty.”
    6. Joseph Lawler, “Community bank group sides with Elizabeth Warren, calls for removal of Wells Fargo's board,” Washington Examiner, Sept. 6, 2017.