In a bold move Tuesday, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to end
its 18-year business relationship with Wells Fargo over concerns regarding
the bank’s checkered history of unsavory business practices and
its funding of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline project.
The measure was passed to cheers from local advocates and supporters who
aim to set an example for other cities and businesses that may do business
with Wells Fargo. Under the measure, Seattle will end its contract with
Wells Fargo when it expires next year and will not make new investments
with the bank for three years. Wells Fargo currently handles over $3 billion
of the city’s operating account, and processes its employee payroll,
payments to vendors, and collection of taxes and fines.
While city officials will now be tasked with moving a large amount of funds
away from Wells Fargo and to a more environmentally and socially responsible
bank, the move is regarded widely as an example of local residents and
activists compelling their local government to make sound, ethical decisions.
In October of last year, Illinois joined California in announcing that
the state would suspend a substantial amount of investment activity with
Seattle’s measure was sparked by Wells Fargo’s role as one
of 17 lenders that will be funding the $2.5 billion Dakota Access Pipeline
project, which has garnered widespread scrutiny for threading an oil pipeline
under a reservoir in North Dakota, where it can creates the risk of polluting
drinking water for the nearby Standing Rock Sioux reservation and other
In addition to funding the controversial pipeline, Wells Fargo has also
received considerable backlash, and fines, for a series of highly publicized
and unsavory business practices. This includes the recent scandal that
led federal regulators to fine the bank $185 million for allowing employees
to fraudulently open millions of customer accounts without their knowledge
or consent. A major player in the subprime mortgage and
foreclosure crisis, Well Fargo also agreed to a $1.2 billion settlement for false
claims that home loans qualified to be insured by the FHA (Federal Housing
Wells Fargo, and other banks and lenders like it, have a history of making
profits at the expense of people. As dedicated consumer law attorneys
serving Chicago and the state of Illinois, we at Sulaiman Law Group, LTD.
have dedicated our practice to helping the little person who has suffered
as a result of Big Business’ predatory, deceptive, and unfair practices
– not only because our clients deserve help and financial freedom,
but also because these companies need to be held accountable for their
violations and the harm they cause consumers.
If you have questions about foreclosure,
creditor harassment, or debt and would like to speak with a member of our legal team,
contact us today.