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Fire Wells Fargo CEO Stumpf, says congressman who went off at hearing

Wells Fargo needs a new CEO because John Stumpf won't be able to get the banking giant back on track after the phony account scandal, House Financial Services member Gregory Meeks told CNBC on Friday.

A day after his fiery questioning of Stumpf on Capitol Hill, the New York Democrat said Wells Fargo must restore confidence. "The only way, I think, that you can do that at this point is have a new CEO. He is not the one to restore confidence."

In an interview on "Squawk Box," Meeks said Stumpf was much better prepared for the House Financial Services Committee hearing than he was for last week's grilling before the Senate Banking Committee.

The bank announced on Tuesday that Stumpf agreed to forfeit about $41 million in unvested equity. Stumpf will also forgo his salary while the board investigates the matter. "It's not enough," Meeks said.

The scandal came to light earlier this month when Wells Fargo agreed with regulators to pay $185 million to settle charges that fee-generating accounts were opened for unsuspecting customers by employees looking to hit sales targets and bonuses.

Wells Fargo also announced Tuesday Carrie Tolstedt, the former head of the community banking division where employees opened as many as 2 million unauthorized customer accounts, has left the company and would not receive a severance payment.

Tolstedt forfeited about $19 million in outstanding unvested equity awards, and would not exercise her outstanding options during the independent board investigation. She had been expected to retire at the end of the year, according to a July announcement by the bank.

The bank said it fired about 5,300 employees over a multiyear period for engaging in such practices. But Meeks told CNBC that bank executives also need to be held accountable, not just the "low level employees" who were dismissed.

Regulators need to make sure these type of practices are not happening at other banks, Meeks said.

The congressman added he does not advocate the notion of breaking up the banks to make them more manageable. "That's not the solution. The solution is to get integrity there them and fix them because they're so important to our economy."


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