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HomeBankA Senate Democrat wants Wells Fargo’s C.E.O. to fix its problems ‘once...

A Senate Democrat wants Wells Fargo’s C.E.O. to fix its problems ‘once and for all.’

The Democrat in charge of the Senate Banking Committee is not happy with Wells Fargo’s chief executive, Charles W. Scharf.

In a letter on Tuesday, the committee’s chairman, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, demanded that Mr. Scharf “once and for all address Wells Fargo’s governance, risk management and hiring practices — weaknesses that have plagued the bank for almost a decade.”

Mr. Brown listed recent misbehavior by the bank, including a report by The New York Times that Wells Fargo had conducted sham interviews of Black and female candidates, and cited claims that it had avoided refinancing Black homeowners’ mortgages while interest rates were low.

A Wells Fargo spokeswoman declined to comment.

Mr. Brown also noted that Wells Fargo had failed to properly administer a system for alerting the authorities to suspicious activity by its brokerage customers. The Securities and Exchange Commission said on May 20 that it was fining Wells Fargo $7 million over violations of anti-money-laundering laws, claiming the bank failed to file more than 30 suspicious-activity reports between 2017 and 2021.

“Despite these failures, Wells Fargo made $21.5 billion in 2021 and announced a plan to double dividends and buy back $18 billion in stock between third quarter 2021 and second quarter 2022,” Mr. Brown wrote.

Mr. Brown noted that Mr. Scharf received $24.5 million last year in total compensation, a 20 percent increase from 2020 and 290 times the median employee salary at the bank.

Mr. Brown said he expected Mr. Scharf to prepare a plan to fix its myriad problems and ended the letter with a reminder that the chief executive would be testifying soon along with his peers at the committee’s annual big bank oversight hearing.

A date for the hearing has not yet been announced.



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