U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren urged the Federal Reserve to remove the 12 Wells Fargo & Co. directors who were on the board when bank employees set up legions of fake customer accounts.
Congress empowered the Fed to remove board members if they violate the law or engage in unsafe business practices that cause banks with federal deposit insurance to suffer losses, Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, wrote in a letter Monday to Fed Chair Janet Yellen.
“I urge you to exercise your legal authority to remove the holdover Wells Fargo board members,” Warren wrote. “The board did nothing to stop rampant misconduct” that led to “more than 5,000 bank employees creating more than two million fake accounts over four years,” between 2011 and 2015, Warren added.
Eric Kollig, a Fed spokesman, said, “We have received the letter and plan to respond.”
Wells Fargo has faced a barrage of criticism and calls for closer scrutiny since it was fined $185 million by regulators in September for possibly opening more than 2 million retail bank accounts without customer approval.
The scandal triggered public criticism and congressional hearings, prompting the San Francisco-based bank to name new leaders, claw back pay and find new ways to encourage sales.