Equifax, Wells Fargo CEOs face questions from Congress about scandals

Capitol Hill
Two CEOs will testify on the Hill early next month.

Two chief executive officers are preparing to go before Congress to explain recent debacles at their companies. Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan will go before the Senate Banking Committee on Oct. 3 to answer questions about a sales practices scandal, while Equifax CEO Richard Smith will testify before a House panel on the same day, just before meeting with the same committee on Oct. 4.

The hearing, titled “Wells Fargo: One Year Later,” will be Sloan’s first congressional appearance since he became CEO in October 2016, a month after the company settled with regulators over the creation of about 2.1 million unauthorized accounts, according to a Reuters article.

“The bank has since disclosed problems with other products, including auto and life insurance, and recently revised its estimate for the number of accounts that were potentially opened without customers’ authorization to 3.5 million,” according to the article.

John Stumpf, Sloan’s predecessor, met with legislators last year but with no real results, the article states.

Meanwhile, Equifax’s Smith will face questions about a data breach at the consumer credit reporting company that affected about 143 million Americans, making it one of the largest hacks ever recorded. Sensitive information such as birth dates, names and Social Security numbers may have been put at risk.

Members of Congress have been asking about the incident since it was disclosed earlier this month, according to an article on CNBC.com. In an interview on “Mad Money,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., a member of the banking committee, said that the scandals at Wells Fargo and Equifax illustrate the need for more accountability from corporate leaders.

“So long as there is no personal responsibility when these big companies breach consumers’ trust, let their data get stolen, cheat their consumers, like they did in the case of Wells Fargo, then nothing is going to change,” Warren said, according to the article.