“Come on…this went on for years and they didn’t smell anything in the air about fake accounts?”Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
Didn’t know that the lower level Wells Fargo employees run the entire company while the exec who was responsible for the fake account unit retires and not fired and given a balloon package and while the CEO and Chairman Stumpf and the entire board play dumb and collect enormous stock options and salaries.
Stumpf insisted there was nothing in Wells Fargo’s atmosphere that encouraged these practices. “There was no incentive to do bad things,” he told the Journal.
Instead, he appeared to lay blame at the feet of what he characterized as a minority of bad employees who didn’t “honor” the bank’s culture. Wells Fargo has said that at least 5,300 employees were fired over a five-year period for “inappropriate sales conduct.”
Not everyone in the financial industry accepts Stumpf’s assertion that Wells management knew nothing of the shady practices.
“Stumpf has clearly forgotten Harry Truman’s maxim that ‘the buck stops here.’ He’s responsible for how the org runs,” said Helaine Olen, a financial columnist at Slate and the author of the personal finance industry exposé Pound Foolish.
“It takes a particular level of what my grandmother called ‘chutzpah’ to ― when you are earning millions of dollars annually ― to turn and dump the blame on what are fairly low-paid employees,” Olen told The Huffington Post.