‘The cockroaches infiltrated’ the bank, as ‘systemic corruption and venal abuse of customers’ have become ‘part of Wells Fargo’s brand.’
In a letter so brutally scathing it’s practically funny, California Treasurer John Chiang skewers Wells Fargo, its Board of Directors, and its new CEO Tim Sloan. And he extended the sanctions on Wells Fargo, first imposed in September last year, by ‘at least’ another year.
The Treasurer’s office oversees ‘nearly $2 trillion in annual banking transactions, manages a $75 billion investment pool, and is the nation’s largest issuer of municipal debt,’ Chiang pointed out last year when he imposed the sanctions on Wells Fargo’s ‘most highly profitable business relationships with the State of California.’ Those sanctions include:
Suspension of investments by the Treasurer’s Office in all Wells Fargo securities. Suspension of the use of Wells Fargo as a broker-dealer for purchasing of investments by his office. Suspension of Wells Fargo as a managing underwriter on negotiated sales of California state bonds where the Treasurer appoints the underwriter. With these sanctions, Chiang sought ‘real accountability and lasting reforms.’ But it’s a long and complex relationship that dates back to the Gold Rush era:
Wells Fargo has evolved to become the nation’s second largest bank by total assets. California is set to become the world’s fifth largest economy. What we each do, therefore, matters and effects the public interest.
This post was published at Wolf Street on Oct 17, 2017.