Activist shareholders of Wells Fargo on Monday demanded the besieged financial behemoth fully investigate the “systemic failures” that nurtured a culture of high-pressure sales tactics and unleashed a scandal over bogus bank accounts.
The demands came a day before Wells Fargo’s annual shareholders meeting, during shareholders are expected to pepper bank chief executive officer Timothy Sloan with questions and comments about the debacle over checking and credit accounts. Members of Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility said Monday that they were unhappy with the supervision of Wells Fargo by the bank’s board.
“Board members are elected by shareholders to be our watchdogs and our eyes and ears inside the compay to ensure our capital is being managed in a responsible manner,” said Seth Magaziner, general treasurer for the State of Rhode Island and a co-filer of the resolution from the shareholder activitists. “Clearly the board was not being responsible at the time the scandal was unfolding.”
Wells has been fined $185 million because employees opened up to 2.1 million accounts without the permission of customers. Ever since the scandal surfaced in September, Wells Fargo has endured harsh criticism, pressure or punishment by regulators, shareholders, customers, politicians and prosecutors.
“Shareholders believe a full accounting of the systemic failures allowing these unethical practices to flourish are critical to rebuilding credibility with all stakeholders and will strengthen risk management systems going forward,” the activist shareholders said in a statement supporting the resolution.
The resolution demands that the Wells Fargo board orders a comprehensive report regarding the root causes of the fraudulent activity and the steps taken to improve risk management and control processes. The report would be made available to shareholders by October of this year, if the resolution is approved shareholders of the bank. It would go beyond a recently disclosed internal investigation into the scandal by the …read more
Source:: The Mercury News