Elizabeth Warren Just Had a Huge Victory over Wells Fargo

October 12th 2016

Danielle DeCourcey

The viral, passionate tirade Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) made against a Wells Fargo CEO last month, may have helped get some results.

On Monday John Stumpf, the CEO of the embattled bank that ran a large-scale fraud scheme, announced that he was stepping down.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have led Wells Fargo,” Stumpf said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. “While I have been deeply committed and focused on managing the company through this period, I have decided it is best for the company that I step aside."

Between 2011 and 2016, Wells Fargo bank employees created at least 2 million fake accounts. Both fake checking and credit card accounts were created and, [i]n some cases, bank customers faced various fees for accounts they didn’t request, or bank employees took money from an authorized account to create a fake one," The Washington Post reported.

Instead of company executives taking the heat, the bank fired more than 5,000 low level employees involved in the scheme, who were under pressure from the company to make sales goals. Wells Fargo did pay more than $185 million in state and federal fines.

Last month, Stumpf sat through two hours of questions on Capitol Hill by the Senate Banking Committee about the scheme — including some angry accusations about executive accountability from Warren.

The video of her rant against bank corruption was shared thousands of times.

"If one of your tellers took a handful of $20 bills out of the cash drawer, they'd probably be looking at criminal charges for theft," Warren said. "They could end up in prison. But you squeezed your employees to the breaking point so they would cheat customers, and you could drive up the value of your stock and put hundreds of millions of dollars in your own pocket. "

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also joined in criticizing Wells Fargo and accountability for big banks.

Wells Fargo is currently under investigation from the Department of Justice.

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