The action taken against Wells Fargo for opening unauthorized accounts is a “political gift” to regulators, analyst Edward Mills said Friday.
That’s because it will likely accelerate bank compensation rules and additional enforcement actions those regulators want to make.
“This is a different political reality in D.C., where best interest of the consumer has to be to be the driving force, and you have to really look at incentives. Gone are the days of the trips to Hawaii. Gone are the days of being able to sell whatever you want in terms of financial products,” the FBR Capital Markets senior financial policy analyst told CNBC’s “Power Lunch.”
Wells Fargo was recently fined for creating accounts for customers across multiple product lines without telling them, in order to meet sales goals. All told, the bank agreed to pay $185 million in penalties and $5 million to customers. Over the course of five years, 5,300 employees were also fired.
The bank is now under investigation by the House Financial Services Committee and CEO John Stumpf has also been called to testify before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday. Federal prosecutors are also reportedly investigating the bank.
Mills said Stumpf has to take personal responsibility when he appears before both committees and do something like separating the chairman and CEO roles or taking no bonus. He thinks Stumpf also needs to say which executive has been fired or penalized for what happened.
“If he tries to make this about rogue employees, which has been part of the initial response, that is not going to work, because ultimately what the senators are going to try to make this about is either it was a toxic culture or it is too big to manage,” he said.