Ocasio-Cortez Tries To Grill Wells Fargo's CEO. He Destroys Her.

Ocasio-Cortez Tries To Grill Wells Fargo's CEO. He Destroys Her.

The CEO of beleaguered Wells Fargo told Congress Tuesday that the bank has cleaned up its act after a series of scandals that affected millions of customers.

Timothy Sloan testified in the House Financial Services Committee Hearing meant to hold "megabanks" accountable.

"I can't promise you perfection", Sloan said.

"Wells Fargo is a better bank than it was three years ago, and we are working every day to become even better", Sloan, 58, read from his written testimony.

In a tweet Monday, Waters said she "will be confronting Wells Fargo" during the hearing.

In statements to the House Financial Services Committee, Sloan - who has been with the Wells Fargo for 31 years - outlined a slew of changes he has implemented to the company's retail banking sector since assuming the top spot, including overhauling the leadership of the division and ending an incentive program at the heart of much of the controversy.

"I don't know how to answer that question because we weren't", Sloan replied flatly.

Sloan is the first bank executive to be grilled by the House Financial Services Committee since it was taken over by Democrats following the 2018 congressional election.

Stephen Beck, founder of the CG42 management consulting firm that advises banks among other industries, said a study conducted by his company belies that claim.

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"With all of this experience and the length of time that you have been there, the roles that you have played, you have not been able to keep Wells Fargo out of trouble, you keep getting fined", panel Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said.

A Wells Fargo spokesperson told Yahoo Finance Sloan doesn't feel additional pressure being the first CEO in the witness chair. Since then, Wells Fargo has struggled to fix its image as it's disclosed harming customers in other areas of the company.

Sloan responded by saying that the bank's size wasn't a problem.

Wells Fargo has admitted to several misdeeds over the past two years: opening millions of accounts that customers didn't want or ask for; improperly repossessing thousands of cars, including from some members of the military; mistakenly foreclosing on hundreds of homeowners; and miscalculating the fees it charges customers.

While Sloan spoke definitively about how the bank has moved past the fake accounts scandal, he hedged his answer to Rep. Greg Meeks (D-NY), who asked if there were more negative stories about the bank to come: "I can't control the media". Wells has paid more than $1.5 billion in penalties to federal and state regulators and $620 million to settle lawsuits in connection with various abuses. Waters also accused the bank of being a "recidivist" institution.

Wells Fargo's regulators could simply remove Sloan as CEO - Sloan is also president of the bank - and break the bank into smaller parts, said Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (D-Mass.).

Other scandals engulfing the biggest US mortgage lender have included selling auto insurance and other financial products to customers who didn't need them; charging service members higher rates on loans than allowed by law; and improperly selling complex financial products to retail investors.

Sloan said the bank had reviewed 165 million accounts going back 15 years, contacted 40 million customers and provided millions in compensation to redress consumer abuses.

Next month, top executives of Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America are expected to appear in front of the panel.

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