Wells Fargo & Co. CEO and chairman John Stumpf is retiring from the company and its board of directors, effective immediately, in wake of the company’s scheme to steal millions from customers.
The company has been under pressure since the scandal, which involved the illegally authorizing and charging of roughly 1.5 million bank accounts and cards. While Wells Fargo admitted to opening the accounts, it placed the blame on low-level employees. The employees claim that they were acting under pressure from management; nevertheless, the company fired 5,300 of them.
Stumpf’s resignation was called for directly by Senator Elizabeth Warren when she said:
“You should resign…and you should be criminally investigated.”
The Financial Protection Bureau ordered the bank to pay a $185 million fine.
But this slap on the wrist wasn’t enough for Senators Bernie Sanders and Warren. Together, they wrote a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, asking for a full investigation into senior Wells Fargo executives.
The letter was co-signed by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), Richard Durbin (D-Illinois), Al Franken (D-Minnesota), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), Angus King (I-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts), Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), and Ron Wyden (D-Oregon).
Just a few days later, Stumpf announced his resignation. But while Stumpf’s resignation is a start, many believe he should face criminal charges.
Tim Sloan, the company’s president and chief operating officer, will succeed Stumpf as CEO, and Stephen Sanger, its lead director, will serve as the board’s non-executive chairman.
But simply replacing one executive for another could have little or no effect on Wells Fargo’s banking practices.
As Senators Sanders and Warren’s letter states, the Department of Justice must “thoroughly investigate the culpability of senior executives at the bank.“