She began by noting that Wells Fargo, the most valuable bank in the world, is widely known for cross-selling products to customers like no other institution. The average big bank has customers with three accounts, while Wells Fargo’s goal is eight. This shows investors that Wells Fargo has a very dedicated client base that will keep coming back to the bank for financial services.
“Cross-selling isn’t about helping customers get what they need. If it was, you wouldn’t have to squeeze your employees so hard to make it happen. No, cross-selling is all about pumping up Wells’s stock price, isn’t it?” Warren asked.
Stumpf said “No,” and Warren wouldn’t even let him finish his sentence.
“Let me stop you right there. You say no? No? Here are the transcripts of twelve quarterly earnings calls that you participated in from 2012 to 2014, the three full years in which we know this scam was going on,” she said, waving the bound copies in the air. “These were calls where you personally made your pitch to investors and analysts as to why Wells Fargo is a great investment. And in all 12 of these calls, you personally cited Wells Fargo’s success at cross-selling retail accounts as one of the main reasons to buy more stock in the company.” She then read off lines from each call as Stumpf sat stone-faced.
She asked Stumpf if he knew how much he personally made as Wells Fargo’s stock price soared during these years. He gave a halting non-answer, but Warren told him—$200 million. Then she ended with a sound bite that’s likely to make the evening news nationwide.
“You should resign,” she said. “You should give back the money that you took while this scam was going. And you should be criminally investigated by both the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.”