AOC accuses Wells Fargo CEO of financing 'caging' of children at border

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In connection to the sales practice controversy, Wells Fargo has looked back more than 15 years, reviewed 165 million accounts and contacted more than 40 million customers and paid millions of dollars in compensation to customers, according to Sloan's testimony.

That may not be enough to soothe members of the House Financial Services Committee, led by Rep. Maxine Waters.

"Wells Fargo's ongoing lawlessness and failure to right the ship suggests the bank - with approximately $1.9 trillion in assets and serving one in three US households is simply too big to manage", Waters said.

Ocasio-Cortez appeared to be referencing the fact that Wells Fargo has been in the business of financing private prison companies. Along the route they will demand that Wells Fargo invest instead in clean-energy solutions to the climate crisis with chants, singing and street theater. Wells Fargo recently agreed to reimburse the customers for $575 million.

Wells Fargo shares were flat in midday trade. The Federal Reserve took unprecedented action on Wells Fargo's business in February of 2018, forcing the bank to replace four of its directors and capping its growth until the bank developed better risk-management practices.

"Are you going to use your clever arbitration provisions, applicable to an account they never signed up for, in order to keep them out of court, if that's what they decide they want?" Maloney asked, saying the gun industry is "literally killing" children.

"Well, I believe that Wells Fargo serves our 70 million customers- one out of three USA households - in a very effective way today", Sloan said. He said it isn't up to banks to enforce legislation that doesn't exist.

Tough questions came from both sides of the aisle.

"The issue within the institution was not a matter of size, it was a matter of culture", Barr said.

At times Sloan expressed remorse over the bank's scandals, noting he felt "terrible" that some servicemen and women had been harmed. "I believe that Wells Fargo serves our 70 million customers ... in a very effective way", he said, citing "the changes I've made since becoming CEO".

Meeks asked Sloan if he thought the downgrade was appropriate.

"It's my job as CEO to make sure things change and they are changing", Sloan said.

The board has credited him for rooting out and fixing past problems, addressing regulators' concerns, tightening internal oversight and taking other steps to improve earnings.

The committee's ranking Republican Patrick McHenry made it clear that his party would not go soft on the country's fourth-largest US bank as they sought evidence it had remedied customer abuses. Workers told reporters the goals were unattainable, similar to the ambitious sales targets that had driven Wells Fargo workers to open unauthorized accounts in the past. The company forced unnecessary insurance policies on auto-lending customers, charged borrowers improper fees to lock in mortgage rates and foreclosed on struggling homebuyers who could have had debts modified.

He declined however to give the committee confidential information on the progress of the bank's various remediation efforts, and firmly rebuffed claims by Waters that the bank should be broken up.

Sloan received some backup from Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas), who said Waters was advocating for "socialism" that would transform the United States into "Venezuela".

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