NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Wells Fargo's (WFC) - Get Report board has ordered CEO John Stumpf to forfeit $41 million of unvested stock awards, and will conduct an independent investigation into the bank's sales practices.
The investigation comes after Wells Fargo was fined $185 million earlier this month over allegations of illegal account openings.
Investors have been waiting for someone to take charge in the wake of the scandal, and it appears that Stephen Sanger, the bank's lead independent director, will be that person, TheStreet's Jim Cramer said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" this morning.
"I think what [Sanger] is saying is, look, we've got to get ahead of this thing because of the house," Cramer said. "Now, to get ahead of the thing would've been to go bigger."
He explained that Wells Fargo should have ordered Stumpf to forfeit his salary rather than unvested interests.
"If you want a clawback, you clawback what you have - not what you don't have yet," Cramer added.
He noted that the key to an investigation will be subpoenas to determine what former community-banking head Carrie Tolstedt knew, when she knew it and why she has been so quiet.
Congress has seized on this case, and will not allow her silence, Cramer mentioned.
"There are a lot of people who think that this was a multi-year fraud," Cramer said. "And that is something Congress is not going to let go."
Shares of Wells Fargo were largely flat in late-morning trading on Wednesday.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates the stock as a "buy" with a ratings score of B.
Wells Fargo's strengths such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and attractive valuation levels. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: WFC
TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this article's author.