Several lawmakers, both Republican and Democrat, alleged that Wells Fargo's sales practices may have violated federal laws, including the federal racketeering laws, which would constitute a criminal offense.
Singleton was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan when the used auto was repossessed without a court order, the Justice Department said.
Stumpf defended his dual roles as CEO and board chairman before the House committee, calling the arrangement right for the bank.
The CEO of Wells Fargo says almost 150,000 Texas accounts possibly were affected in the banking scandal that's drawn the attention of Congress.
At least five Wells Fargo employees have sued the bank or filed complaints with regulators, claiming they were fired after reporting the opening of customer accounts without permission, according to a Reuters review of lawsuits and complaints to the U.S. Labor Department.
"The City Council should not engage in any business for the next two years with this institution that has deceived, defrauded and duped its customers", Burke said in a news release.
The reputation of Wells Fargo & Co. took another blow Thursday when it agreed to pay $24 million for the improper repossession of cars owned by members of the USA military. We have spoken with a representative of the Bank.
As the Bloombergreport revealed, banks' response the problem with asset repossessions is that employees often do not understand the legalities that are involved when a military family falls behind on housing or auto payments.
But the hearing quickly turned hostile as some lawmakers called for Stumpf to resign and questioned whether he should be criminally prosecuted. After selling the auto at auction, Wells Fargo attempted to collect more than $10,00o from Singleton, the difference between what was owed on the vehicle, and the amount the vehicle sold for at auction.
Wells Fargo was fined $185 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for its illegal practices at the beginning of the month, but one lawmaker stressed that the bank's practices could not be solved by monetary penalties.
The unit of Wells Fargo also agreed to change its policies, the department said.
But those steps did not appease the lawmakers. "Wells Fargo reached these agreements consistent with our commitment to customers and in the interest of putting this matter behind us", according to a statement. He noted that the bank received information about the scope of the problem after an audit from PricewaterhouseCoopers "late in 2015 [or] early '16".
"You fired 5,300 people, you took 5,300 good Americans and turned them into felons with a system that you created, benefited from and drove your stock price up by bragging about your levels of new accounts", said Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.).
"I'm not trained or permitted to do that", he said.
Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry, who represents North Carolina - where Wells has a large presence due to its purchase of Wachovia in 2008 - was particularly incensed.
"You have broken long-standing ethical standards inside the company".