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Wells Fargo Fights to Keep City Account

City officials are considering dropping Wells Fargo in favor of a local option. Meanwhile, the bank says it has been supportive of the community, including donating more than $3 million to Berkeley non-profits in the past three years.

While city leaders consider  and opting instead for a local bank or credit union, the fourth largest banking institution in the country says it is "committed to the city of Berkeley."

"We are working with local leaders to support the community and help people who are facing financial challenges," said Wells Fargo's Assistant Vice President of Communications Ruben Pulido in a statement.

A city recommendation to drop the banking giant will be considered at Tuesday evening's council meeting. The proposal from Councilman Darryl Moore, and Councilman Jesse Arreguin cites Wells Fargo's part in the subprime lending crisis and "unethical practices" that contributed to national economic collapse.

The proposal also refers to a "large number" of foreclosures in Berkeley, "which have resulted in families losing their homes" and have affected the stability of the city's neighborhoods. 

In a response statement, Wells Fargo says it has been working "diligently with customers to find solutions that prevent foreclosures" and has donated more than $3 million to 89 nonprofits in Berkeley over the past three years. 

The bank claims that less than 2 percent of its homeowner-occupied loans in the past year have proceeded to foreclosure sale, and that Wells Fargo currently owns less than 10 properties in the Berkeley market.

Do you think Berkeley should move its bank account from Wells Fargo to a local bank or credit union? Take the poll and share your thoughts in the comments.

Donna February 01, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Wells Fargo is guilty of grossly inflating the value of our home, fraudulently originating our mortgage loan, illegally foreclosing our home, and falsifying IRS tax forms. I am a proud veteran and hard working small business owner. We did everything right in pursuing and preserving our American Dream. However, Wells Fargo not only broke the law by originating us a fraudulent mortgage loan, but also acting above the law and illegally foreclosing our home. We support City of Berkeley to ditch Wells Fargo and Go with a Community Bank Instead. http://www.change.org/petitions/demand-that-president-obama-and-nevada-attorney-general-launch-an-investigation-into-wells-fargos-predatory-lending-practices
Stan June 06, 2012 at 07:11 AM
Wells Fargo is only interested in itself. The city of Berkley as well as others need to set the standard and make a statement that the kind of behavior which has been going on at Big Banks will not be tolerated. Actions speak louder than words. Until we the people act with our money, the Big Banks will continue to conduct business as usual. I have changed my direct deposit and waiting for it to appear at USAA. I am closing my Wells Fargo Account on 6-8-12 when I know my Direct Deposit changes has taken effect. I opened an account at Educational Employees Credit Union also...... Banking with a "for profit" bank is like being in an abusive marriage. The banks keep telling us they love us, but continue to abuse us. It's not until we say "no", and divorce the abuser, then can we heal from the wounds the banks have caused us. The answer lies within each one of us. What will your answer be????? Even by not making a decision, you have already made an decision. Either stand for something, or fall for everything the banks tells you.

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