Elizabeth Warren's epic takedown of Wells Fargo CEO

But two years earlier, the Los Angeles Times revealed that Wells Fargo was boosting these sales by opening accounts without their customer's permission. "You should give back the money that you gained while this scam was going on and you should be criminally investigated by the DOJ and the SEC".

The U.S. Attorney's Offices in Manhattan and in San Francisco are investigating Wells Fargo, a person familiar with the matter said last week. He added that the incident could kill congressional efforts to modify the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's powers, raise the probability that lawmakers will try to break up the biggest banks, and affect executive compensation.

"The Wells Fargo board is actively engaged in this issue", Stumpf said.

The Massachusetts Democrat, one of the fiercest critics of Wall Street, also advocated for a criminal investigation by the Justice Department and securities regulators. Wells Fargo said it would pay $2.6 million in refunds to affected customers. Wells Fargo hired PricewaterhouseCoopers in August 2015 to help determine whether customers were hurt, according to Stumpf.

Stumpf has said he takes responsibility for the fraud but also has said he does not plan to step down from the company.

Earlier this month, the lender agreed to pay $190 million in penalties and customer payouts to settle a case in which bank employees created credit, savings and other accounts without customer knowledge. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) turned the heat on Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf.

Stumpf vowed that the corporate culture will change and said the bank has eliminated the sales goals that led to the problems, which entailed employees cross-selling products to customers, who often were unaware that they had been signed up.

"Have you resigned as CEO or have you returned one nickle of the million of dollars that you were paid while the scam was going on?" she asked.

The salaries and bonuses of Stumpf and other executives, especially Carrie Tolstedt, the former head of the bank's community banking division whose retirement was announced in July, have become a focus of scrutiny in recent weeks. Tolstedt retired with $125 million previous stock compensation, but she did not receive a severance, Stumpf testified.

Wells Fargo has in place executive compensation clawback provisions that the board could implement. Instead, Stumpf maintained Tuesday that individual bankers made decisions independently to open the fake accounts. When asked by Morning Consult whether the Banking Committee would open its own probe, Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) left it up in the air.

Throughout the hearing, he seemed to try and shift blame to the bank's product sales goals program, which will no longer be in practice beginning January 1, 2017.

Stumpf said he was "deeply sorry" that the bank failed to meet its responsibility to customers and didn't act sooner to stem "this unacceptable activity". "The share price during this time period went up by about $30, which comes out to more than $200 million in gains, all for you personally", Warren said after a round of contentious back and forth questioning.

But that was not enough for many members of the committee, who grilled Stumpf for details about the scheme and repeatedly expressed astonishment that senior management allowed problems to fester for so long without taking more assertive action.



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