Bernie Sanders ripped Wells Fargo following testimony by its CEO over millions of fraudulent accounts opened by bank employees.
“Let’s be clear, the business model of Wall Street is fraud,” the Vermont senator wrote in a blog post published on Medium Tuesday.
“There is no better example than the recently-exposed illegal behaviour at Wells Fargo.”
During his testimony in front of the Senate Banking Committee, CEO John Stumpf admitted that he and other senior executives were made aware of the account-opening scheme in 2013.
Sanders says the Wells Fargo scandal is “not an aberration,” laying out the bank’s history of abusing its customers and getting slapped with multiple ines.
No major Wall Street executive has been prosecuted despite big banks having paid more than $200 billion in fines and settlements since the 2008 financial crisis, Sanders noted.
The former presidential candidate, who vowed to break up big Wall Street firms throughout the Democratic primary, forcefully criticised what he called a”two-tier justice system” that treats the poor and the wealthy differently.
How many people at Wells Fargo are going to jail? Zero. But if you smoke marijuana in this country, you get a criminal record.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) September 20, 2016
In a letter sent to financial regulators who fined Wells Fargo, Sanders asked whether any criminal inquiries were pending.
“Your agencies recently fined Wells Fargo $100 million, and $35 million, respectively, for illegally opening up deposit accounts and taking out credit cards for customers without their knowledge or consent,” Sanders wrote.
“Wall Street won’t change until we make it clear that no bank is too big to fail and no CEO is too big to jail.”
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