Slideshow 'Stumpf Is Lucky': Comments of the Week

  • September 23 2016, 7:30am EDT
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American Banker readers share their views on the most pressing banking topics of the week. Comments are excerpted from reader response sections of articles and our social media platforms.

On Wells Fargo chief executive John Stumpf getting grilled by lawmakers for three hours:

Stumpf is lucky. A community bank CEO having presided over a fraud proportionally this large would already have his assets frozen, be awaiting prosecution, and have been personally fined a substantial amount of money, not to mention that he would be under an order barring him from ever working at a bank for the rest of his life. Stumpf gets to keep his hundreds of millions and worst case, resign and enjoy his several homes."

Related Article: 'You Should Resign': Stumpf's Rough Day on Capitol Hill

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In response to a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finding that lenders have adjusted to new mortgage rules:

"This article ran alongside another headlined, 'Xenith Bank to Quit Mortgage Business, Citing Compliance Costs.' Is this what CFPB means by 'adjusting?'"

Related Article: Lenders Have Adjusted to New Mortgage Rules: CFPB

On obstacles involved in the branch of the future models:

"The challenge still relies on the digital interaction for cross-sell because the customer who chooses those channels usually is interested in completing the required operation as fast as possible without spending time to look at different offers."

Related Article: What's Killing Branches Can Make Them Stronger

On the interest of fintech firms in a limited charter:

"Everyone wants to be a bank, without actually being a bank. In other words, they want all our powers without our regulations. Isn't that what helped trigger the greatest economic disaster in our nation's financial history? If you want to run with the banks, you have to be regulated with the banks. No regulation, no charter!"

Related Article: Enough with D.C.'s Mixed Messaging on Fintech

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On whether technology could have prevented Wells Fargo's unauthorized accounts:

"Most fraud detection systems flag accounts or payment transactions. Unless you can visualize common e-mail addresses, anomalies in account opening, and electronic communications in a connected way, e.g. entity link analysis it's difficult to detect insider misbehavior. Obviously biometric authentication during onboarding would make it much harder for front line staff to spoof."

Related Article: Can Technology Prevent Wells Fargo-Style Account Fraud

On disputes over which agency uncovered the Wells Fargo activity first:

"There was no law that said Wells needed to report this to the CFPB. But silly rabbit… the CFPB has little use for laws. If we actually followed laws and the Constitution anymore, the CFPB wouldn't exist. Weird how bankers aren't enthusiastic about inviting an agency with the sole purpose of bringing them down in for coffee and a chat."

Related Article: GOP to CFPB: You Don't Deserve Credit for Catching Wells Fargo

On readers' claims that community banks would never do something unethical:

"C'mon folks…I've been a community banker for over 45 years and I've seen both mega and community banks that have had ethics problems. We should all on a regular basis be taking time to 'look in the ethical mirror' to make sure we are staying on an ethical path."

Related Article: It's Time for Banks to Look in the Ethical Mirror