Wells Fargo CEO to testify before Senate as questions linger over scandal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Wells Fargo WFC.N Chief Executive Tim Sloan is due to testify before Congress on Oct. 3 as the bank deals with fallout from a sales scandal a year ago that continues to spark new revelations.

FILE PHOTO: Tim Sloan, CEO and President of Wells Fargo & Co., speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Sloan will appear before the Senate Banking Committee, which writes rules for his industry, at a hearing titled “Wells Fargo: One Year Later,” the panel said on Thursday.

In September 2016, Wells Fargo said its employees may have created more than 2 million accounts without customer approval. Several executives were subsequently fired, but a review also turned up possible abuses with other products such as auto and life insurance.

The third-largest U.S. bank has since tried to improve sales practices and restore trust with customers.

Last month, Wells Fargo said the unauthorized accounts totaled as many as 3.5 million.

“Since last October, we have taken numerous important steps to fix issues, make things right for our customers and build a better bank,” a bank spokesperson told Reuters via email on Thursday.

Wells Fargo shares gained 0.57 percent to $54.05 in morning trading.

On Aug. 1, the 11 Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee wrote to its Republican Chairman, Mike Crapo, asking that both Sloan and the board of directors be called to testify before the Committee this month.

The letter lists nine new developments since Sloan's predecessor John Stumpf appeared before the Senate Banking Committee in September last year. These included "concerns about the bank retaliating against employees and purposefully concealing evidence from regulators of systemic problems at the bank."

During last year’s testimony, Stumpf seemed unprepared under tough questioning from Democrats and Republicans, and Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren accused him of “gutless leadership.” He resigned less than a month later.

Warren has repeatedly urged the Federal Reserve to remove all members of the Wells Fargo board of directors who had served during the time the fake accounts were created.

Additional reporting by Dan Freed in New York and Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Bernadette Baum