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Elizabeth Warren urges Federal Reserve to break up Wells Fargo

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Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, questions Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve nominee for U.S. President Donald Trump, right, during a Senate Banking Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday urged the Federal Reserve to break up Wells Fargo, arguing a string of scandals at the financial titan puts consumers at risk.

In a letter to Fed Chair Jerome Powell, the Massachusetts Democrat called on the central bank’s board of governors to use its authority to separate Wells Fargo’s banking unit from its financial services businesses. She said the Fed could break up Wells Fargo by revoking its license to operate as a financial holding company.

“The Fed has the power to put consumers first, and it must use it,” Warren wrote. “By invoking its full authority to protect consumers and the financial system and requiring Wells Fargo to separate its consumer-facing banking arm from the rest of its financial activities, the Fed can ensure that Wells Fargo faces appropriate consequences for its longstanding ungovernable behavior.”

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Wells Fargo did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

The company’s shares were trading about 2% higher Tuesday morning.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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