John Chiang | Press Releases

John Chiang Calls on Wells Fargo CEO to Step Down


Three Board Members Chiang Called to be Removed Now Slated to Depart Next Month 

Chiang Successfully Got Three Board Members to Step Down Last Year 

John Chiang last night called on Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan to resign, after news that four more Wells Fargo board members — three of which Chiang specifically called to be removed — would be leaving the company after the annual shareholder meeting on April 24. Wells Fargo was caught ripping off hundreds of thousands of Californians and millions of Americans by creating millions of fraudulent bank accounts that customers never signed up for.

“Of the seven board members whom I’ve demanded resign because they either knew or should have known about the growing culture of corruption at Wells Fargo, six will be gone by next month,” said Chiang. “Yet, it’s far too soon to celebrate because Wells Fargo’s storied stage coach remains in disrepair. 

“While the bank’s CEO desperately wants the public to forget one of the banking industry’s ugliest chapters of wanton greed, it still has not provided validation that its hundreds of thousands of victims have been made whole or that it has adopted the levels of reforms necessary to ensure the best interests of the banking public comes before its own gluttony for profit. It hasn’t demonstrated how it will hold itself accountable for targeting and fleecing vulnerable seniors, immigrants, veterans, and low-income communities. 

“At the end of the day, Tim Sloan has shown himself to be too much a champion of the old guard to truly be the change agent that Wells Fargo so desperately needs. As his institution continues to lose value, as federal and state agencies continue to hand down more sanctions, as abuse after abuse comes to light, Sloan continues to dawdle and proclaim Wells Fargo, itself, is the victim.  Along with John Baker, it’s time for him to go.”

Treasurer Chiang originally demanded seven of the Wells Fargo board members who served on committees and in senior leadership positions and knew or should have known about the fraud and growing culture of corruption be removed. The seven board members were: John Baker, Lloyd Dean, Enrique Hernandez, Jr., Cynthia Milligan, Frederico Pena, Stephen Sanger, and Susan Swenson. Milligan, Sanger, and Swenson stepped down last year, and Dean, Hernandez, Jr., and Pena will be leaving next month. Baker has yet to resign.

In addition to removing these negligent board members, Treasurer Chiang has also demanded Wells Fargo:

  • Provide information on the numbers of California consumers harmed, the concentration of those customers by branch location, ZIP code or city, along with the status of efforts to resolve grievances and make them whole.
  • Provide written evidence each quarter that it is in full compliance with the terms and conditions of consent orders entered with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Los Angeles City Attorney, and the Office of Comptroller of the Currency. If the bank is out of compliance, it must present a plan of recovery.
  • Commission and fund a study by a respected consumer organization on how financial institutions can better serve Californians, especially the unbanked.

Treasurer Chiang will still attend Wells Fargo’s shareholder meeting in April since the bank has yet to meet these four demands.