A top US bank regulator said Wednesday he will help vet Wells Fargo’s next chief executive — even as he got ridiculed by US Sen. Elizabeth Warren for his past oversight of the beleaguered bank.
Sen. Warren (D-Mass.) slammed Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting over the job he’d done supervising the San Francisco-based financial giant, which lost its second CEO Tim Sloan in March after failing to contain the fallout from a fake-accounts scandal.
The tiff between Warren and Otting came during a Senate banking committee hearing, after the Democratic presidential hopeful pushed Otting to make his CEO-vetting process public.
Otting — who formerly ran OneWest, a bank co-founded by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin — declined to publicly disclose any confidential material, saying it wasn’t his “prerogative” to do so.
“No one has been more tougher on Wells Fargo than myself. No one has been more outspoken,” Otting said.
In response, Warren — who led the call for the resignation of the last two Wells Fargo CEOs — scoffed.
“At the OCC? That’s a low bar,” she said.
Otting then said he found it “insulting” that Warren would make that comment.
“Good,” Warren responded. “The OCC blew it once by letting Tim Sloan take over. This time, you need to show your work and make your supervision public.”
Despite the spat, Otting agreed to vet the next Wells CEO based on his or her “competence, experience, character, or integrity,” as the OCC is required to do for national banks.
The Wells Fargo CEO search has reportedly run into snags as the bank is constrained by how much it can afford to pay a new top executive, and few people on Wall Street who actually want the job.
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