WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top U.S. bank regulator said on Wednesday it will vet Wells Fargo & Co’s pick for its next chief executive, a development that could complicate the scandal-hit lender’s efforts to find a permanent replacement for CEO Tim Sloan.
A Wells Fargo logo is seen in New York City, U.S. January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
Joseph Otting, the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), told Congress he would use special legal powers that the regulator typically reserves for overseeing financially troubled lenders to review any proposed candidate.
But Otting said he does not plan to make findings from the review public, despite pressure from U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren who pressed him on the issue during a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee.
“At this point in time I do not have plans to release that information,” Otting told Warren in a heated exchange.
Warren and other Democratic lawmakers have accused the OCC of being too soft on Wells Fargo, a claim Otting disputed on Wednesday.
Otting said the OCC remains disappointed by the bank’s progress on fixing risk management and governance problems that led to a number of customer abuse scandals, including in its mortgage and auto lending businesses.
A spokesman for Wells Fargo did not immediately provide comment.
Sloan abruptly departed in late March, making him the second CEO to leave Wells Fargo following its sales practice scandal. He has said he stepped down because the external attention on him had become a distraction.
Wells Fargo general counsel C. Allen Parker, one of the few newcomers in the