In an open letter to Wells Fargo customers, Clinton called for the preservation of the controversial agency, which Republicans maintain operates with too much power and too little oversight. The Democratic presidential can also excoriated Wells Fargo for the recently revealed practice of opening up unauthorized customer accounts in order to boost sales numbers. Clinton said Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf “owes all of you a clear explanation as to how this happened under his watch. There is simply no place for this kind of outrageous behavior in America.”
Clinton said that the CFPB was an important tool to keep big financial concerns like Wells Fargo in check.
“The unfair and abusive practices at Wells Fargo remind us that we need tough watchdogs looking out for customers,” Clinton wrote. “The CFPB worked with local authorities and enforced the law – assessing its highest penalty ever, and bringing the bank’s illegal activity into the national spotlight.”
Clinton implied that Republicans and big business were in league to destroy the agency, and said that as president she wouldn’t allow that to happen.
“Donald Trump, the Republican Party, and Wall Street lobbyists are desperate to dismantle this effective agency, which is dedicated solely to protecting consumers from unfair and deceptive practices,” Clinton wrote. “I won’t let them put the CFPB under their thumb. I’ll protect the CFPB and make sure it can continue its essential work on behalf of the American people.”
Clinton also wrote that Wall Street firms needed to face harsher consequences for misbehavior.
“This past week, we learned that one of the Wells Fargo executives that oversaw the division that ripped off its customers left the bank – not with a pink slip, but with a $125 million payout,” she wrote, referring to former Wells Fargo exec Carrie Tolstedt
. “It’s hard to imagine that top executives were unaware of a problem that involved thousands of the firm’s employees.”
Clinton also wrote that changes needed to be made to insure that no bank became “too big to manage.”
“(If) any bank can’t be managed effectively, it should be broken up,” she wrote.
Hillary Clinton has vowed to defend the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau against Republican efforts to “dismantle” it.