While there are still some unanswered questions surrounding the Wells Fargo scandal, it is clear that the bank didn't live up to a standard of trust, Sen. Richard Shelby, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, said Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, CEO John Stumpf faced a grilling by the panel about the opening of authorized accounts for customers.
"When …you have employees, up to 5,000 that they terminated for bringing forth fraudulent accounts, there's something wrong with the culture and there's something wrong with the bank," the Republican senator from Alabama said in an interview with CNBC's "Power Lunch" after the hearing on the matter.
Stumpf told the committee he was "deeply sorry" and said Wells Fargo is committed to fixing what went wrong.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren called for a criminal investigation into Wells Fargo executives, as well as Stumpf's resignation. However, Shelby wouldn't say if he agreed that the CEO should be fired, noting that it was up to the board to decide.
"Mr. Stumpf has been recognized as a good banker for a long time but when things happen on your watch, you do have to have responsibility for it and there's got to be an accounting for it and I'm not sure that's happened yet," he said.
Shelby also said regulators didn't look into problems at the bank soon enough. The case was initiated by the Los Angeles city attorney's office after a report in the Los Angeles Times, not by the comptroller of the currency or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, he said.
"They were late to the party. That was obvious. I think they're trying to claim a lot of credit that's not due to them."