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Rep. Maxine Waters calls for firing of Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan after news of his pay raise

Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Business News

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Maxine Waters on Thursday called for the firing of Wells Fargo & Co. Chief Executive Tim Sloan after the bank reported his pay increased last year by nearly $1 million despite continued consumer scandals.

The 4.9 percent increase in total compensation in 2018, to $18.4 million, included a $2-million bonus, Wells Fargo said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday. Sloan earned $2.4-million base pay both years. He did not receive a bonus in 2017, but received more in stock, pension and other awards to bring his overall compensation to $17.6 million.

The filing came a day after Sloan faced bipartisan anger about what Waters called the bank's "ongoing lawlessness" during a hearing by the House Financial Services Committee, which the Los Angeles Democrat chairs.

After the hearing, Waters suggested that regulators remove Sloan.

But Waters went a step further on Thursday. She called Sloan's pay increase "outrageous and wholly inappropriate," particularly because the bank was hit last year with an unprecedented regulatory cap on its growth because of its history of consumer abuses.

"Mr. Sloan shouldn't be getting a bonus, he should be shown the door," Waters said in a written statement.

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She joins Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in calling for Sloan's removal. Warren, the Democratic presidential candidate, has pushed for his firing since 2017.

Waters was not happy with Sloan's performance during the four-hour hearing and concluded it by promising to reintroduce legislation that would direct regulators to downsize or even shut down banks with a pattern of violating consumer protection laws.

"It was very clear from Mr. Sloan's testimony that Wells Fargo has failed to clean up its act," Waters reiterated Thursday.

She noted that after the hearing, one of the bank's regulators, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, took the unusual step of publicly declaring disappointment with Wells Fargo's performance under consent orders designed to improve its operations and the bank's "inability to execute effective corporate governance."

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