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Wells Fargo Resignations Not Enough to Turn the Page on Scandal, Systemic Problems

Committee for Better Banks

For Immediate Release: March 9, 2020

Media Contact: [email protected], 603-339-0042

Committee for Better Banks: Wells Fargo Resignations Not Enough to Turn the Page on Scandal, Systemic Problems

CBB calls on last two pre-2016 board directors, John D. Baker II and Donald M. James, to resign

NATIONWIDE — In response to today’s abrupt resignation of Wells Fargo Board Chair Betsy Duke and board member James Quigley, just days before both long-term board members were set to testify at the House Financial Services Committee on the continued fallout from the bank’s 2016 fake account scandal, Kilian Colin, Wells Fargo employee during the fake account scandal and member of Committee for Better Banks, said:

“Today’s resignations of Board Chair Betsy Duke and board member James Quigley are due to the vigorous oversight of the House Financial Services Committee’s year-long investigation into the company’s misconduct and mistreatment of its workers. The Committee is hearing the voices of frontline workers at Wells Fargo who put their jobs on the line to bring this scandal to light and has joined our calls for a Bank Workers’ Bill of Rights to bring structural change to the banking industry.

“However, today’s resignations are years too late and not enough for Wells Fargo to turn the page on its misconduct and systemic challenges. We need a completely new board to rebuild Wells Fargo, and that’s why we are calling on directors John D. Baker II and Donald M. James, who have both been with the company since 2009, to also resign.

“For Wells Fargo to truly turn the page, we need structural reform to regulate the company from the bottom-up. Wells Fargo employees are calling on Wells Fargo’s new leadership, CEO Charlie Scharf, COO Scott Powell and Chair Charles Noski to give frontline workers a real voice on the job. That is what it will take to restore trust between workers, consumers, and the bank for good.”

Background on the Committee for Better Banks at Wells Fargo:

Wells Fargo employees with the Committee for Better Banks have been demanding a response from CEO Charles Scharf about the wave of layoffs and outsourcing impacting thousands of families nationwide. Despite making over $30 billion in profit in 2018 and after $25.8 billion returned to shareholders through share buybacks and dividend increases, Wells Fargo announced last year that it would cut 26,000 positions.

In October 2019, the Department of Labor certified Trade Adjustment Assistance for laid-off workers at Wells Fargo’s Shoreview branch in Minnesota.  Following the Shoreview layoffs in August 2019, Wells Fargo announced in October its decision to layoff over 350 workers from the bank’s Concord branch in California, including many highly-skilled customer service representatives. Concord workers have also filed for Trade Adjustment Assistance as the company continues to offshore thousands of frontline employees’ jobs.

In recent weeks, Representative Cindy Axne (D-IA) has introduced a bill in response to the mass layoffs of Wells Fargo workers in Iowa that took place in 2019, the Offshoring Notification Act. The bill would require employers to tell laid-off workers whether their jobs are being replaced overseas, and ultimately expedite the process for workers to receive financial support.

Members of the Committee for Better Banks are set to testify before the House Financial Services Committee later in March.

About the Committee for Better Banks:

The Committee for Better Banks, the only independent voice for frontline bank employees, is comprised of bank workers, community and consumer advocacy groups, and labor organizations, coming together to improve conditions in the banking industry. Committee for Better Banks members include current and former employees of banks and credit unions across the country, including Wells Fargo, Santander, Bank of The West, and Bank of America.

Just last week, the coalition announced that the first bank workers in over forty years have formed a union with the Communications Workers of America -- a historic win for the banking industry.