Wells Fargo hearing signal new era in bank compliance; enforcements loom
A U.S. Senate hearing into an alleged bogus-accounts scandal at the top U.S. retail bank Wells Fargo on Tuesday set the stage for the unveiling of a widening investigation by regulators of sales practices across the banking industry. The banking regulators also disclosed a potentially far-reaching initiative to plug holes in compliance and oversight in banks' retail operations that have been overlooked as regulators focused on bank stability concerns in the post-crisis era.
The testimony of regulators and the probing questions of senators from both parties turned the spotlight initially on issues of personal responsibility for Wells Fargo's alleged violations, at the core of the bank's $185 million settlement with regulators last month. But then it shifted to a wider look at the role of bank officers, directors and compliance departments of financial firms in preventing abusive sales tactics.
The COMMITTEE ON BANKING, HOUSING, AND URBAN AFFAIRS will meet in OPEN SESSION to conduct a hearing entitled “An Examination of Wells Fargo’s Unauthorized Accounts and the Regulatory Response.” The witness on Panel I will be Mr. John G. Stumpf, Chairman and CEO, Wells Fargo & Company. The witnesses on Panel II will be: The Honorable Tom Curry, Comptroller of the Currency, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; The Honorable Richard Cordray, Director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Mr. James Clark, Chief Deputy, Office of the Los Angeles City Attorney.
All hearings are webcast live and will not be available until the hearing starts. Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid or service, including closed captioning service for webcast hearings, should contact the committee clerk at 202-224-7391 at least three business days in advance of the hearing date.