Chairman Shelby, Ranking Member Brown, esteemed members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to provide testimony on this critical matter.
On a Sunday morning in December, 2013, I was appalled when I opened the Los Angeles Times and read an investigative story by Scott Reckard regarding Wells Fargo Bank’s sales culture. The story read in part, “To meet quotas, employees have opened unneeded accounts for customers, ordered credit cards without customers' permission and forged client signatures on paperwork. Some employees begged family members to open ghost accounts.”
I immediately instructed my staff to investigate to determine if the facts warranted our Office filing an action pursuant to California laws that protect consumers against, and provide relief for, unfair business practices.
Because these laws do not afford my Office pre-litigation subpoena power, our investigation consisted of good old-fashioned detective work. We conducted numerous interviews with former Wells Fargo employees and Wells Fargo consumers, pored over public records, including voluminous court record