Sense of the Council Urging Reassessment of Relationship with Wells Fargo Resolution of 2017

Introduced: March 22, 2017

Co-introducers: Councilmembers Anita Bonds, Elissa Silverman, Brianne Nadeau, and Charles Allen

Summary: To declare the sense of the Council that the District of Columbia is committed to promoting fair and responsible banking and lending practices; and to call on the city to reassess its existing relationship with Wells Fargo and consider greater investment in local banks to support community growth.

Councilmember Grosso's Introduction Statement:

Today, along with my colleagues Councilmembers Nadeau, Bonds and Silverman, I am also introducing the “Sense of the Council Urging Reassessment of Relationship with Wells Fargo Resolution of 2017.”

For years Wells Fargo has been plagued with allegations of racial discrimination in lending practices leading to some of the largest settlements in recent memory.

Recently, the financial institution has come under scrutiny for its involvement in financing the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and highly questionable sales practices.

In a report published by In The Public Trust, it was found that Wells Fargo is one of the private prison industry’s most dedicated lenders. 

In light of the myriad allegations against Wells Fargo, several cities across the country including, San Francisco, CA; Takoma Park, MD; Minneapolis, MN; Seattle, WA and others have moved to divest or explore divesting from Wells Fargo.

The District of Columbia has long sought to protect the city’s interests and the public’s trust by managing and spending city funds in a fiscally responsible and prudent manner.

As Wells Fargo is the District of Columbia’s bank of record, I believe we have an obligation to fully reassess our relationship with Wells Fargo and strongly consider divestment.

We should prioritize partnerships with business entities and financial institutions that are committed to engaging in fair and responsible business practices and we should fully commit to reinvesting in local banks to support community growth.

Thank you Chairman Mendelson, I yield the remainder of my time to my co-introducer and I welcome any co-sponsors.