Lawmaker wants Seattle to say goodbye to Wells Fargo | KUOW News and Information

Lawmaker wants Seattle to say goodbye to Wells Fargo

Nov 4, 2016

A Seattle lawmaker it looking to break the city's ties with Wells Fargo. The bank has been embroiled in a scandal over opening accounts without customer knowledge.


It's the bank that handles the city's money, holding an average of $73 million for the city at any given time.

A proposal from Kshama Sawant seeks to end that relationship. It would prohibit the city from working with banks that engaged in unethical business practices in the past five years. Sawant says that would apply to Wells Fargo.

Sawant: "And there is also further evidence that in that process they targeted senior citizens. And the public in Seattle is especially talking about it because they cannot stomach the fact that Wells Fargo has a contract for public money."

She also calls out Wells Fargo for investing in the Dakota Access Pipeline, along with other banks.

Already this month, the city has canceled a loan between the bank and Seattle City Light.

A Wells Fargo spokesperson says the bank will do everything in its power to rebuild the city council’s trust. The bank has contributed more than $12 million to Seattle in the past two years, in the form of grants and loans.

If the ordinance passes, the city will have to work with another bank after contracts with Wells Fargo end in 2018. Sawant says the city cannot do its banking through credit unions, under state law. She says she will push to change that.