As the tally of fake Wells Fargo accounts balloons to 3.5 million, Congress has yet to discipline the executives, while the financial giant has only paid fines. A coalition of 33 groups is now demanding new hearings and for the bank to be held accountable.
Wells Fargo and Company increased its estimate of how many accounts were created by 67 percent Thursday. The mega bank issued shocking new disclosures, showing 1.4 million more bogus customer accounts had been created, a significant increase from previous estimates, the New York Times reported. In addition, Wells Fargo admitted to yet another impropriety, stating that they enrolled more than a half-million customer accounts into their online bill pay service without notifying them. The embattled bank has since agreed to pay out $910,000 to customers who accrued fees or charges related to the unknown accounts. “We are working hard to ensure this never happens again and to build a better bank for the future,” Wells Fargo CEO Timothy J. Sloane said in a statement, the Times reported. There has not yet been word if executives with the bank will be summoned back to Washington to face lawmakers for yet another round of questioning following last year’s Capitol Hill hearing with then-CEO John Stumpf. During that hearing, Wells Fargo and their former CEO paid big bucks, but no other actions have been taken by Congress to thwart future offenses by the company. Now, 33 organizations have banded together to call for new congressional hearings relating to Wells Fargo’s questionable practices. Two groups, Americans for Financial Reform and Public Citizen, are leading the charge to stage new hearings, The left-leaning organizations sent a letter Thursday to the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee, asking to bring Wells Fargo executives back to Capitol Hill to answer for the newly found malpractices. US Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), head of the Senate Banking Committee, tweeted, “Wells Fargo harmed millions more customers than originally disclosed, and continues to avoid accountability.” And Representative Maxine Waters (D-California), suggested in a statement that Wells Fargo’s wrongful acts may be too big to manage. “This disgraceful, illegal, and widespread misconduct is exactly why I will be introducing legislation that breaks up banks – like Wells Fargo – that repeatedly engage in consumer abuses, so that they can never harm consumers again,” she said, according to Bloomberg. Progressive firebrand US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) called Wells Fargo’s new disclosure “unbelievable” in a tweet Thursday.