House panel to probe Wells Fargo opening of accounts

House panel to probe Wells Fargo opening of accounts

WASHINGTON (WBTV/AP) - A House panel says it's starting an investigation of Wells Fargo in its opening of millions of unauthorized accounts that has become a growing scandal.

The House Financial Services Committee on Friday announced an investigation of the allegedly illegal activity by Wells Fargo employees to meet aggressive sales goals as well as the role of federal regulators in the debacle.

North Carolina Congressman Robert Pittenger is a member of the House Financial Services Committee. He says they are requesting internal documents and communication from Wells Fargo, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency relating to the discovery of and response to the creation of unauthorized customer accounts at Wells Fargo.

California and U.S. regulators fined San Francisco-based Wells Fargo a combined $185 million last Thursday. The bank also will pay restitution to affected customers.

The committee says it will summon Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf to testify at a hearing this month. Stumpf and several regulators are appearing before the Senate Banking Committee at a separate hearing on Tuesday.

"Wells Fargo is vital to Charlotte's economy, and we appreciate the positive contributions of Wells Fargo employees in our community.  However, the serious allegations of fraudulent accounts warrant oversight from the House Financial Services Committee.  We must review documents and communications to clarify the facts and ensure that additional procedures are in place as required to prevent any opportunity for fraud," said Congressman Pittenger.  "Washington bureaucrats should also be held accountable in their role as a watchdog for the American people."

Copyright 2016 WBTV. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.