WASHINGTON – Yesterday, a senior bank regulator charged five former Wells Fargo executives with “a failure of leadership” related to the bank’s colossal, years-long scandal preying on vulnerable customers. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao served on Wells Fargo’s board at the time of the scandal, and despite her failure to properly oversee the bank’s operations, she has continued to receive stock payments from the bank, as recently as last March. Restore Public Trust released the following statement in response:
“The victims of Wells Fargo’s predatory operation deserve to see the those in charge held responsible for the harm they caused,” said Lizzy Price, director of Restore Public Trust. “Hundreds of thousands of Americans were defrauded during Secretary Chao’s tenure on the Wells Fargo board. Chao has continued to profit from her time at the mega bank, while people hurt under her leadership are still struggling to recover financially. It is time that Chao answer for her scandal-plagued tenure on Wells Fargo’s board.”
As a member of the board from 2011 to 2017, Chao oversaw Wells Fargo’s ethics and fair corporate practices, and even sat on the bank’s Corporate Responsibility and Credit and Finance committees — all while it committed large scale fraud against its customers. Many vulnerable customers, including veterans, had their cars improperly repossessed and their credit ruined.
In her current role as transportation secretary, Chao received a stock payout from Wells Fargo as recently as March of 2019.
For more information on Chao’s scandal-plagued tenure at Wells Fargo, click here.