Wells Fargo CEO pledges to stamp out bad behavior. ‘I feel accountable.’

From The Washington Post:

John G. Stumpf, the long-time chief executive of Wells Fargo, defended the mega bank in an interview Tuesday, saying the institution is working to stamp out bad behavior after revelations that thousands of employees secretly created accounts customers didn’t ask for in order to meet sales goals.

Stumpf said Wells Fargo has already taken several steps to strengthening its compliance programs in the wake of the scandal, which resulted in $185 million in fines last week. The bank also dismissed 5,300 employees, including some managers, who were accused of creating sham accounts.

“On average 1 percent [of employees] have not done the right thing and we terminated them. I don’t want them here if they don’t represent the culture of the company,” Stumpf said.

“We’re not sitting idly by,” he said, “we are investing in controls and training. . .We’re making big investments and my goal is perfection.”

Stumpf began speaking out publicly for the first time since the controversy thrust the San Francisco-based bank into the spotlight. Wells Fargo has long cultivated a reputation for staying out of the regulatory headaches that have dogged some of its biggest competitors. That reputation is now at risk as lawmakers, regulators and even Wall Street analysts question how one of the country’s largest banks could have allowed such behavior to fester for years.

“This ought to be a moment where people stop and remember how dangerous the system is when you don’t have the proper protections in place,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said at a conference Tuesday, according to CNBC. “This is a wake-up call and should remind all of us that culture and compensation make a difference. How you reward people, how you motivate people and what values you hold people to matters.”

According to regulators, thousands of Wells Fargo employees created up to 2 million accounts, for services …

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