Not impressed with Stumpf's 'retirement.'
Wells Fargo’s CEO John Stumpf may be out, but Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) says the former bank executive, and his bank, has more to pay.
Stumpf announced Wednesday afternoon that he would retire, two years earlier than anticipated, amid a scandal in which the bank created some 2 million phony accounts without consumer consent. Although the bank paid some $185 million for it, Congress and other advocacy groups were left unsatisfied. After all, Stumpf initially denied that bank culture had led some 5,300 employees to create fake accounts. Instead, he blamed it on some bad actors.
Stumpf later agreed to pay back some $41 million from his paycheck as the fallout continued. But Stumpf’s resignation shows that even that was not enough to appease critics, or return confidence to Wells Fargo’s shareholders.
For Warren, Stumpf’s resignation is only a third of his deserved penance. It’s certainly a victory for her—she called for the CEO’s resignation during a September senate hearing—but she has also called for a criminal investigation, and for Stumpf to return even more of his pay.
“You should resign,” Warren told Stumpf before the Senate Banking Committee. “You should give back the money you made, and you should be criminally investigated.”
The Massachusetts senator maintained her position on the matter in Wednesday Twitter storm:
Warren accused Stumpf of personally pocketing $200 million from the fraud during the Senate hearing because he held some 6.57 million shares of Wells Fargo during the time the account fraud was occurring. Shares of the banking giant rose $35 during that period.
The senator has also long advocated for holding high up executives accountable for bank fraud cases.
Not long after the senate hearing, Warren, alongside four other Senators, called for Stumpf’s replacement as an advisor to the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank. Stumpf later resigned from that role as well.