Mar 9, 2020 - Economy

Two Wells Fargo board members resign

Elizabeth Duke, a Wells Fargo director who resigned.

Elizabeth Duke, shown in Senate testimony in 2008. Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

The chair of Wells Fargo's board of directors, Elizabeth Duke, resigned under pressure Sunday, days before she was scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill about the bank's fake accounts scandal — as did a second board member, James Quigley, who was also going to be grilled by lawmakers.

Why it matters: Wells Fargo is attempting to close the chapter on the systemic frauds that were exposed in 2016, when 5,200 employees were fired over 2 million fake accounts that were created. Evidence shows the bank did not satisfactorily clean up its act in the ensuing years, leaving Democratic lawmakers furious.

Where it stands: The bank's new CEO, Charlie Scharf — a former CEO of Visa and BNY Mellon — took over late last year and is trying to clean house. He is scheduled to testify Tuesday in front of the House Financial Services Committee, and Duke and Quigley are scheduled to testify Wednesday.

  • In a damning report released last week, the majority staff of the committee presented extensive evidence that problems lingered and senior executives seemed unconcerned.
  • The report included emails from Duke in which she seemed to try to deflect queries about the situation, plus "a similar lack of urgency" from Quigley.
  • The report called Wells Fargo "a reckless megabank with an ineffective board and management that has exhibited an egregious pattern of consumer abuses.”
  • Wells Fargo would not comment on whether the two directors who resigned will still testify Wednesday.
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