Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers pressed Wells Fargo & Co Chief Executive Tim Sloan for more proof that the bank has moved past its customer abuse scandals in a tense hearing in Congress on Tuesday.
"I can't promise you perfection, but what I can promise you is that the changes we've implemented since I've become CEO will prevent harm the best we can", responded Sloan, who also told lawmakers the Times report was "inaccurate".
Sloan firmly rebuffed claims by Waters that Wells Fargo should be broken up.
During a hearing on Wells Fargo's business practices in the House Oversight Committee, Ocasio-Cortez demanded to know why "the bank [was] involved in the caging of children".
The CEOs of Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Citigroup Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Bank of America Corp are expected to appear before the panel next month.
Ocasio-Cortez told Sloan, "So these companies run private detention facilities, run by ICE, which is involved in caging children".
Ocasio-Cortez asked why Wells Fargo financed the pipeline "when it was widely seen to be environmentally unstable".
Republicans and Democrats alike blasted Sloan and the bank.
Tensions also flared as Democrats including Carolyn Maloney of NY and Ayanna Pressley of MA demanded Wells Fargo stop providing financial services to the National Rifle Association and firearms companies.
"... Wells Fargo's ongoing lawlessness and failure to right the ship suggest the bank, with approximately $1.9 trillion in assets and serving one in three USA households, is simply too big to manage". Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), the committee's ranking Republican, asked Sloan.
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"I don't know how'd you calculate that, congresswoman", Sloan replied.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have both introduced legislation that would break up Wells Fargo, and Warren has been calling for Sloan to be fired since the fake-account scandal broke in late 2016.
Sloan's prepared remarks emphasized changes the bank has made to culture, sales practices and risk management, as well as efforts to repay wronged customers.
"We made a decision two years ago to exit two relationships we had with two private prison firms".
350 Silicon Valley says Wells Fargo Bank has a dirty-energy secret unknown to most-by its own admission the commercial bank is the biggest lender to the fossil-fuel industry.
But the CEO struggled to make the case that Wells Fargo is now a good corporate citizen amid repeated interruptions and aggressive, sometimes hectoring questioning from representatives including Democrats Brad Sherman and Stephen Lynch.
On Tuesday, Wells Fargo CEO Timothy Sloan appeared before Congress to assure the country that the ripoffs are, at last, under control.
If lawmakers are unhappy with what they hear, they could pressure the Federal Reserve to maintain restrictions imposed on the bank's growth until governance and risk management improve.
The hearing is the first in what is expected to be a series held by Waters to probe the health of the US banking sector.
But just hours after the hearing ended, one of the bank's chief regulators, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, indicated that Wells Fargo has a long way to go. Wells has paid more than $1.5 billion in penalties to federal and state regulators and $620 million to settle lawsuits in connection with various abuses.