Stephen Colbert detailed the fallout at San Francisco-based bank, Wells Fargo, which accrued $185 million in regulatory fines earlier this month after opening “roughly 1.5 million bank accounts and applied for 565,000 credit cards that may not have been authorized by customers,” according to The New York Times.
Wells CEO John G. Stumpf testified before the Senate Banking Committee last Tuesday and received an earful from Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
“Your definition of accountability is to push this on your low-level employees,” Warren said, referring to the 5,300 employees fired for opening sham accounts to meet sales figures. “This is gutless leadership.”
She asked Stumpf — whose compensation CNN Money reported at $200 million — if he’d returned even “one nickel” of the money he’d personally earned through the sham account scandal. When he repeatedly answered, “The board will take care of that,” Warren finally said, “I will take that as a no.”
“She will take that as a no,” Colbert responded, “and place the no in the bag where she put his balls.”
“That’s how you teach white collar crime does not pay,” he added, referring to Stumpf’s compensation. “It’s like when a cop catches a burglar in the act of robbing a house and says, ‘Put down that TV, buddy. Now here’s $200 million.’”
As Warren noted during his testimony, Stumpf set the accounts-per-customer target for employees at eight — where other large banks average five — because, “Eight rhymes with great.”
“I gotta say, that makes him sound like something that rhymes with a real grass bowl,” Colbert said. “It’s asshole.”