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New Wells Fargo CEO Sloan: Stumpf felt his presence had become a 'distraction'

Christine Wang

New Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan said former CEO John Stumpf retired because he felt it was necessary for the bank to move on.

"[Stumpf] concluded that this was the right thing to do for the company to allow it to move forward, because he felt that the focus on him was becoming a distraction and a hindrance to the business," Sloan told CNBC's " Fast Money " on Wednesday.

Sloan succeeded Stumpf as CEO at Wells Fargo (WFC) late Wednesday amid a scandal in which Wells Fargo's community banking division opened about 2 million accounts without customer authorization. The practice resulted in the bank paying $185 million in penalties. Stumpf was grilled on Capitol Hill as he defended the bank's sales practices.

Sloan first joined Wells Fargo 29 years ago and became president and COO of the bank in November 2015. Carrie Tolstedt, former head of the company's community banking division, reported to Sloan, but not during most of the scandal period.

He said Wednesday that he is unaware of any criminal investigations of Stumpf.

Wells Fargo was "disappointed" that its appearances on Capitol Hill often "turned into a situation in which there were more speeches given than questions asked," Sloan said.

"We felt like there was more answers that we could have provided, but those hearings are overwith and we're moving on," Sloan said.

Last month, Sen. Elizabeth Warren accused Stumpf of " gutless leadership " and said he had not held himself accountable for the bank's actions. She and other lawmakers called for Stumpf to resign.

Wells Fargo is expected to report earnings before the market open on Friday.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.




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