House hearing still on for former Wells Fargo board members

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WASHINGTON — Two Wells Fargo board members who abruptly resigned Sunday are still expected to testify in Washington this week as part of the House Financial Services Committee’s ongoing investigation of the bank’s sales-practices scandal.

American Banker has learned the committee is still planning for Elizabeth “Betsy” Duke, who had chaired Wells Fargo’s board since 2018, and James Quigley, a director since 2013, to appear as scheduled Wednesday. Former CEOs John Stumpf and Tim Sloan have appeared before Congress in recent years, but this is the first time since the fake-accounts scandal exploded into view in 2016 that Wells Fargo directors are being asked to testify.

Duke and Quigley submitted their resignations just four days after Democrats on the committee released a report that was highly critical of the board’s oversight of bank management.

The Democrats’ report concluded that the board failed to ensure that the bank had managers with sufficient compliance expertise. The report also said that the board allowed the bank’s management to submit deficient plans in response to consent orders and prioritized financial considerations over fixing issues identified by regulators.

House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., told reporters Thursday that she believes Duke and Quigley should resign, saying they “failed in their responsibilities as board members.”

Republican staff released a separate report critical of the bank’s board Thursday. But the GOP report did not go as far as calling for the board members' resignations.

The bank’s new CEO, Charlie Scharf, is scheduled to appear before the committee Tuesday.

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