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TheStreet Open House

Wells Fargo Boss Talks Bank Fees, Economy, Taxes

â¿¿You've been pretty outspoken against some of the new government regulations imposed on the banking industry.

I'm not against regulation. I like good, effective regulation. What I worry about are the unintended consequences of well-intended people who pass laws that make it harder to lend money, make it more difficult for consumers and small businesses and large businesses to get credit.

â¿¿You said, for example, that you were worried about possible new rules on remittances, when bank customers send money to relatives in their home countries. Tell us about that. (The government is proposing rules that would require companies to give customers more detail about the expected fees and taxes, and to make sure the correct person picks up the money on the other end.)

So a customer brings $200 in, says, 'I want to wire this money to Mexico,' 'I want to send it to Vietnam,' 'I want to send it to Cambodia,' wherever they want to send it to. We do that every day at a great bargain for the customer. (But) the rules are so archaic and difficult to comply with that we might have to exit some businesses and not serve customers. That's what I worry about.

That's just one small example. That's a small business. Wait until they opine on mortgages, which is a big business.

â¿¿You were outspoken against the idea of a standalone Consumer Financial Protection Bureau when it was proposed. What do you think of the job they've done so far?

These are good people, and they've been asked to do an impossible job. I hope they get it right.

â¿¿What do you think about their putting the complaints against your bank and others on the Internet?

You know, we talk to our customers every day. If that's the best way for them to make that information available, that's up to them.

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