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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

Wells Fargo Chair Resigns Days Before House Hearing

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A Wells Fargo branch in New York. (Photo: Bloomberg)

Just days before a scheduled appearance before the House Financial Services Committee, Elizabeth Duke, chairwoman of Wells Fargo & Co., and James Quigley, the independent chairman of Wells Fargo Bank, resigned.

Duke has been chair of Wells Fargo’s board since January 2018, and previously was vice chair from October 2016 through December 2017.

Both resignations were effective Sunday; both Duke and Quigley were to testify before the committee on Wednesday.

Charles Noski will serve as chair of the Wells Fargo Board, the bank announced Sunday. Noski joined the Board in June 2019. He is a retired vice chairman and former chief financial officer of Bank of America Corp.

Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf, who’s set to testify Tuesday before the House panel, said in a Sunday statement that he’d “like to thank Betsy and Jim for the contributions they have made over the past several years. They have helped the Board navigate significant challenges relating to the sales practices issues, and they began the hard work of instituting necessary changes in leadership, governance, compensation programs and our business model that form the foundation on which we are continuing to rebuild the trust we’ve lost. We wish them the best.”

House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., released Wednesday a 113-page report, The Real Wells Fargo: Board & Management Failures, Consumer Abuses, and Ineffective Regulatory Oversight.

The report found that, based on an investigation launched by Waters, Wells Fargo has failed to comply with the five consent orders the bank entered into with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Reserve System “to settle the regulators’ allegations of widespread consumer abuses and compliance failures within Wells Fargo.”

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