I'm happy to see the City of Philadelphia has finally recognized the gross misconduct of Wells Fargo Bank in handling clients' accounts and is replacing it with Citizens Bank to handle the city's $2 billion payroll. (See "Wells Fargo Fined $185 million for Opening Unauthorized Accounts" in CMC Digest under "Business.")
Philadelphia City Council’s finance committee voted unanimously to approve legislation to remove Wells Fargo and it authorizes the city treasurer’s office to enter into an agreement with Citizens Bank to handle those services at the start of the next fiscal year in July.
“As many of you know, I have been pushing for the City to divest from Wells Fargo for quite some time,” said Councilwoman Cindy Bass, who sponsored the bill. “Time and time again their actions have revealed them to be the antithesis of corporate social responsibility. I want to thank my colleagues on the committee for doing the right thing and sending a message that we will not do business with companies that engage in unethical business practices.”
The bill was amended to include Citizens’ community development plan to develop initiatives for low to moderate income families, individuals and minority small businesses. A companion bill, which also passed out of committee, would allow for a transition period in which Wells Fargo would continue as the city’s depository until December 31, 2017.
The bills will be formally reported out of committee next week and placed on Council’s voting calendar for consideration later in May.
Beau Weisman, Editor
Editor's note: On May 11, 2017, Philadelphia's City Council voted unanimously to approve the amended legislation noted above to remove Wells Fargo as the bank handling the city's $2 billion payroll and authorized the city to enter into the agreement with Citizens Bank.