After a year full of discovering multiple scandals at Wells Fargo, starting with the fake account scandal, several Representatives came together to introduce a bill that would give the federal government more control over megabanks.
Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services Maxine Waters, D-Calif., introduced The Megabank Accountability and Consequences Act Wednesday in a press conference.
Waters, an outspoken critic against Wells Fargo in recent months, explained the bill would give the Fed the ability to shut down any megabank that repeatedly harms consumers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other federal banking regulators would examine banks and report on their practices.
“There are people who have literally concluded that these megabanks are above the law,” Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Al Green, D-Texas, said.
Under the new bill, these bureaus would also have the authority to shut a bank down, break them up, take out a part of the bank or other solutions, Waters explained.
She answered that, under her bill, Wells Fargo would “absolutely qualify” to be shut down.
“As long as we believe that shutting down a bank is dangerous to our economy because of the services they provide, we will never move,” she said. “We cannot be held hostage.”
She said that banks would have the opportunity to contest claims they feel are unfair, but that ultimately, the regulators would be responsible before Congress.
“Regulators would be accountable to Congress and the American people that the megabanks are doing what they are supposed to do – serving their customers, and not ripping them off,” Waters said. “It is time we hold megabanks that have a pattern of harming consumers accountable.”
A 38-page Democratic Staff Report, released by Waters last week and prepared by the Democratic staff of the House Committee on Financial Services, claimed regulators, such as the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, failed to use their most severe tools to shut down repeat offender megabanks or otherwise hold their executives accountable.
This article was originally published by Housing Wire.