WASHINGTON — Wells Fargo’s continued missteps following revelations last year that the bank created millions of unwanted accounts for customers may lead to additional hearings on Capitol Hill.
Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee sent a letter in August to panel Chairman Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, requesting a hearing on the bank. Republicans who hope to deregulate the financial industry have been reluctant to hold additional hearings, but that sentiment might be changing.
Crapo told Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., on Thursday that her request for the panel to hold another hearing is “under consideration.”
“I am in the process personally of gathering information from Wells Fargo” and from regulators on recent allegations against the bank, Crapo said.
Wells recently revealed it had opened 1.4 million more unwanted accounts than originally estimated and that it had also charged 800,000 customers for auto insurance they did not want or ask for.
Crapo called the fake accounts “inexcusable.”
Warren commended Crapo’s management of the committee thus far.
“You have run this committee in a very bipartisan matter. … I just want to ask that we can have a hearing on Wells Fargo,” she said.
North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Thillis said in a brief interview that he was “open” to Crapo’s decision on whether to hold a hearing on Wells, which has a large presence in his state following its acquisition of Wachovia.
Wells Fargo Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf testified before the panel last September and in front of the House Financial Services Committee. He was replaced by Wells Chief Operating Officer Tim Sloan a month later.