(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee and a member of the Senate Banking Committee, launched an investigation into the impact of the Wells Fargo fraud on small businesses, given the megabank’s role as the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) largest lender.
“Wells Fargo is currently managing $7.14 billion in small business loans – all of which is backed by taxpayer dollars,” said Vitter. “Considering the widespread, inherent culture of fraud and abuse that has been revealed at Wells Fargo, we need to know exactly how this rampant fraud impacted their small business clients and what actions will be taken to protect taxpayers.”
Wells Fargo is the SBA’s top lender by volume and currently has nearly 21,000 7(a) loans outstanding, which accounts for nearly $7.14 billion and is all guaranteed by the American taxpayer. As part of his investigation, Vitter sent letters to Wells Fargo Chairman and CEO John Stumpf, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the U.S. Attorney for the City of Los Angeles, and the U.S. Attorneys for the Northern District of California and the Southern District of New York.
Earlier today in a Senate Banking hearing, Vitter pressed the Chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo on the megabank’s “company culture” of fraud and abuse after several thousand Wells Fargo employees opened at least 2 million fraudulent accounts. Click here to read more.
- Vitter’s letter to John Stumpf, Chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo, requests information regarding how the megabank’s government-backed loans and the bank’s small business clients were impacted by the recent fraud.
- Vitter’s letter to SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet urges the SBA to investigate and take appropriate enforcement actions against Wells Fargo in order to protect small business owners and American taxpayers from further defraudment.
- Vitter’s letter to Thomas Curry, Comptroller of the Currency, U.S. Department of Treasury, requests information related to the small business impact of Wells Fargo’s activities collected during the course of the OCC’s investigation.
- Vitter’s letter to the U.S. Attorney for the City of Los Angeles requests information related to the latter’s assistance in investigating the fraudulent activity at Wells Fargo and their subsequent settlement with the bank.
- Vitter’s letter to the U.S. Attorneys for the Northern District of California requests they include the impact on small business owners in their own investigation of Wells Fargo’s fraudulent activity.
- Vitter’s letter to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York requests they include the impact on small business owners in their own investigation of Wells Fargo’s fraudulent activity.