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Wells Fargo CEO, after the hearing, says Sen. Warren took his comments out of context

  • Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan says Sen. Elizabeth Warren took his past comments out of context at Tuesday's Senate Banking Committee hearing about the bank's accounts scandal.
  • "The focus on the hearing was Wells Fargo, one year later, and I don't really understand why we spent as much time as we did talking about history," he tells CNBC.
CEO and President of Wells Fargo & Company Timothy Sloan testifies during a hearing before Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee October 3, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
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CEO and President of Wells Fargo & Company Timothy Sloan testifies during a hearing before Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee October 3, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan said Sen. Elizabeth Warren took his past comments out of context at Tuesday's Senate Banking Committee hearing about the bank's fake accounts scandal.

During the hearing, the Massachusetts Democrat pressed Sloan on comments she said she found in news articles and earnings calls. Warren alleged Sloan, who was chief operating officer before becoming CEO, had bragged about the bank's sales ability. She said he did so even as he knew about the cross-selling problems.

"She definitely did take some of my comments out of context, but I thought the hearing was very good," Sloan told CNBC in a brief interview in the hallway leaving the hearing room.

Sloan said he didn't understand why the committee spent as much time as it did on his actions before he became CEO last October. "The focus on the hearing was Wells Fargo, one year later, and I don't really understand why we spent as much time as we did talking about history," he said.

At the hearing, Warren said Sloan should be fired and argued he was part of a culture that pushed the bank to create millions of fake accounts for customers without their knowledge.

In prepared testimony, Sloan apologized for the creation of the accounts and said the bank has hired back more than 1,000 workers who were wrongly fired or left under a cloud.

In late August, Wells admitted that as many as 3.5 million accounts were created for customers without their permission. That's nearly 70 percent more than originally thought.

The scandal led to the departure of multiple executives, including former Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, Sloan's predecessor.