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Elizabeth Warren urges Fed to 'step up' and remove Wells Fargo's board

Key Points
  • Elizabeth Warren again calls on the Fed to remove Wells Fargo's board in response to the bank's fake accounts scandal.
  • Fed Chair Janet Yellen previously told Warren that the central bank has the power to do so.
  • Warren says "there's no accountability" at Wells Fargo.
Sen. Warren urges Fed to remove Well's Fargo's board

Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday again urged the Federal Reserve to remove Wells Fargo's board in response to the bank's fake account scandal.

The Massachusetts Democrat contended that the central bank has a chance to "step up" and prove it cares about protecting consumers. In a Senate hearing this year, Fed Chair Janet Yellen told Warren that the Fed has the power to remove directors.

"Janet Yellen is somebody who's gotten out there, she's talked about the importance of an economy that works well, not just for those at the top but for the rest of America," Warren told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer in an exclusive interview on CNBC.

"This is the Fed's chance to step up and say, 'When you cheat consumers, when you open fake accounts, when you force place insurance on them that they don't need, when you charge them money that they don't owe, then we, the Federal Reserve, are going to say, those who are in charge, those who are responsible are gone. We can't trust you to run a company of this size,'" Warren added. "I really want to see the Fed step here. The Fed has to power to do it. They just need to step up and do it."

Warren, a hawk on financial regulation, has urged drastic action to hold Wells Fargo and its senior leaders accountable after the bank opened millions of unauthorized accounts. Last month, Wells Fargo said it had identified 3.5 million potentially unauthorized accounts, up from the 2.1 million originally identified.

The senator argued that Wells Fargo's previous loan practices and acknowledgment that more accounts may have been opened than previously announced show that it still lacks accountability.

"This is a company that from the very top has made it clear — there's no accountability here. This is not about serving consumers. This is all about quarter by quarter by quarter how to juice the reported profits. That that's what mattered at Wells Fargo," Warren said.

At the July hearing, Yellen said the Fed is "certainly prepared to take enforcement actions if those prove to be appropriate."

The scandal led to the departure of multiple executives, including former CEO John Stumpf. Last month, Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan said the bank had "cast a wide net to reach customers and address their remaining concerns."

"Our commitment has never been stronger to build a better bank for our customers, team members, shareholders and communities," he said.

When Wells Fargo announced the findings of more potentially unauthorized accounts, the bank said it would give $2.8 million in refunds and credits, on top of the $3.3 million originally provided.

Watch Elizabeth Warren's full interview here:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren says Wells Fargo misdeeds were all about juicing reported profits

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