“As many of you know, I have been pushing for the City to divest from Wells Fargo for quite some time” states councilwoman Cindy Bass, a member of the Philadelphia City Council who helped pass a bill that would remove Wells Fargo from handling the city’s payroll – a $2 billion dollar contract. The move comes after recent incidents where Wells Fargo was exposed creating fake bank accounts and charging fees for these fake accounts to their customers, illegally repossessing cars from military soldiers and more. Most pressure within Philadelphia City involved the fake accounts and the general distrust that employees and city workers had being stuck in a contract with an entity that had a criminal history as widespread as Wells Fargo’s. “Time and time again their actions have revealed them to be the antithesis of corporate social responsibility,” Bass wrote in her statement before thanking her colleagues for doing the right thing and divesting from Wells Fargo for their unethical business practices.
The scandal in which Wells Fargo created fake bank accounts and stole from its customers also cost thousands of employees their jobs. As the heads of the company scrambled to cover their brand and greed they decided to kick out any involving employees who they involved in their scheme and altogether left 5,000 workers without employment. The victims of the fake accounts and fees were not allowed to sue Wells Fargo due to arbitration blocks that forbid customers from becoming involved in class-action lawsuits against the organized crime group. The company targeted undocumented workers and the most vulnerable and walked away paying just a $185 million fee.
The city plans to make the switch at the end of 2017 and will then be conducting business with Citizens Bank which recently opened a line of credit with the Dakota Access Pipeline’s Sunoco Logistics/Energy Transfer Partners.