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Three senators, including Massachusetts' Elizabeth Warren, are demanding that Wells Fargo bank answer to reports that bank managers retaliated against would-be whistleblowers. NPR's Chris Arnold reports on the ongoing consumer banking scandal at Wells Fargo.
CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: In a letter to the bank, the senators cite reporting by NPR about former Wells Fargo employees who were fired or pushed to resign after they called the bank's ethics line. The workers say they were resisting the widespread unethical sales practices that are at the center of the current banking scandal. Senator Elizabeth Warren.
ELIZABETH WARREN: From a regulator's point of view, from the public's point of view is we protect whistleblowers. When somebody says there's a problem here, their employer doesn't get to attack them.
ARNOLD: But Wells Fargo wrote negative comments about the workers on what's called their U5 documents. A U5 is basically a report card used by the industry. Workers say this amounted to a scarlet letter that has unfairly derailed their careers.
WARREN: Wells seems to have taken the attitude that if there's something wrong here, it's the whistleblower's problem.
ARNOLD: Warren is now asking Wells Fargo for information about workers that it labeled this way going back more than a decade. Workers who spoke to NPR say the wrongdoing was widespread in their branches, which were around the country and that it started many years before the bank has acknowledged.
WARREN: The evidence keeps mounting that this is a problem that pervades this bank, and that's why the investigations are not over.
ARNOLD: Wells Fargo has said that it's disturbing to hear claims of retaliation against workers, and the bank says it is investigating these claims. Chris Arnold, NPR News.
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