“So, let’s do that,” Warren said. She then accused Stumpf of failing to hold himself or any other senior executives accountable for the company’s actions. “It’s gutless leadership,” she said, noting that Stumpf is not resigning, returning any of his earnings or firing any senior executives.”
Warren moved on to the subject of cross-selling — calling it a particular focus of Stumpf’s tenure as CEO, citing his goal of eight accounts per customer and saying that cross-selling was “one of the main reasons that Wells has become the most valuable bank in the world.”
“The senator asked Stumpf, “Cross-selling is all about pumping up Wells’ stock price, isn’t it?”
“No,” the executive answered. “Cross-selling is shorthand for deepening relationships,” he continued — before Warren cut him off.”
“She then produced 12 transcripts of Wells Fargo earnings calls Stumpf participated in from 2012 to 2014 — “the three full years in which we know this scam was going on,” Warren said.”
“In all 12 of these calls, you personally cited Wells Fargo’s success at cross-selling retail accounts as one of the main reasons to buy more stock in the company,” Warren told Stumpf. She went on to quote him from the transcripts, as he touted the company’s record growth to more than six accounts per household.”
“When Warren asked Stumpf — who made $19.3 million in annual compensation (including a performance bonus of $12.5 million) in 2015, how much his stock holdings at Wells Fargo had gained during the period in question, the executive said that the information was all in the public record.”
“Warren then produced the information herself, saying that Stumpf held an average of 6.75 million shares in the company in that time frame — and that the share price had risen by about $30, “which comes out to more than $200 million in gains, all for you, and thanks in part to those cross-sell numbers that you talked about on every one of those calls.”
“Here’s what Warren said toward the end of her allotted time to question Stumpf:
“Here’s what really gets me about this, Mr. Stumpf. If one of your tellers took a handful of $20 bills out of the crash drawer, they’d probably be looking at criminal charges for theft. 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.
“And when it all blew up, you kept your job, you kept your multi-multimillion-dollar bonuses, and you went on television to blame thousands of $12-an-hour employees who were just trying to meet cross-sell quotas that made you rich.
“This is about accountability. You should resign. You should give back the money that you took while this scam was going on, and you should be criminally investigated by both the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. This just isn’t right.”
“Stumpf testified with a conspicuously bandaged right hand — it was particularly noticeable when he raised it to be sworn in Tuesday morning. A bank representative says he injured himself playing with his grandchildren.”
“During his allotted time to question Stumpf, Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., voiced skepticism at the idea that the 5,300 Wells Fargo employees who were fired had all acted independently.”
“You state that there are no orchestrated effort or scheme, as some have called it, by the company,” Toomey told Stumpf. “But when thousands of people conduct the same kind of fraudulent activity, it’s a stretch to believe that every one of them independently conjured up this idea of how they would commit this fraud.”
NOTE: There is no way that the CEO was not aware of what was going on regarding the bank’s cross selling practices. There have been numerous complaints by consumers regarding their controversial practices regarding cross selling. Their representatives were set a goal of attaining eight accounts per customer which put unrealistic pressure on their agents to make “mission impossible” occur.
NOTE: Wells Fargo has several call centers located throughout the country.
NEWS ARTICLES ABOUT WELLS FARGO SELLING PRACTICES DATING BACK TO 2013:
consumerist.com/…/wells-Fargo-employees-say-threat-of…Dec 23, 2013 – … for McDonald’s,” one former branch manager from Florida tells the L.A. Times. … Wells Fargo averages more than 6 financial products per household … accounts, one of the 30 Wells employees dismissed in October tells the Times … We are taught exactly how to sell multiple accounts,” says former …
Times investigation of Wells Fargo culture provokes strong … articles.latimes.com/2013/…/la-fi-mo-wells–fargo–sales-pressure-2013122… Dec 28, 2013 – A Times investigation into the intense sales culture at Wells Fargo Bank, published in … Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times