Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton released an open letter on Tuesday to Wells Fargo customers who were the victims of “widespread illegal practices,” saying she was “deeply disturbed” by revelations earlier this month that bank employees created sham accounts for personal gain.
“Our economy depends on a strong and safe banking system to help keep it moving. But even after Americans spent years working hard to recover from the Great Recession, the culture of misconduct and recklessness that preceded that crisis too often persists,” Clinton wrote in the letter.
The gesture comes ahead of Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf’s testimony before Congress on Tuesday.
“He owes all of you a clear explanation as to how this happened under his watch,” Clinton wrote, adding: “There is simply no place for this kind of outrageous behavior in America.”
In the letter, Clinton also lays out her plan for addressing this type of misconduct. Specifically, she wrote that she would defend the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and “enhance accountability” on Wall Street.
“Executives should be held individually accountable when rampant illegal activity happens on their watch,” she argued. “Their compensation should take a hit if their companies pay major fines. And they must face appropriate legal consequences if they break the law.”
Finally, she reiterated her call to ensure that no bank is “too big to manage” by implementing safeguards.
“If any bank can’t be managed effectively, it should be broken up,” Clinton wrote.
The move comes also as Clinton makes a renewed pitch to millennial voters, whom her campaign admits is an essential voting bloc that it “must do more” to win over.
Clinton’s once-rival, now-surrogate Bernie Sanders put out a press release on Monday saying he asked regulators if any criminal referrals had been filed with the Department of Justice.