Santa Clara County board votes to suspend business with Wells Fargo due to company’s fake accounts

FILE - In this July 14, 2014, file photo, a man passes by a Wells Fargo bank office in Oakland, Calif. Regulators announced Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, that Wells Fargo is being fined $185 million for illegally opening millions of unauthorized accounts for their customers in order to meet aggressive sales goals. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)


SANTA CLARA COUNTY (BCN) — Santa Clara County will temporarily end business with Wells Fargo Bank in response to the revelation that the company created more than 2 million fake accounts.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted Tuesday to cut ties for two years with the San Francisco-based company that collected money from the fraudulent bank and credit card accounts.

The board’s vote means the county’s Controller-Treasurer Department has to suspend investments on its securities linked with the bank and stop using the company as its broker-dealer to secure investments, county officials said.

The board also decided that Wells Fargo wouldn’t be the county’s managing underwriter for debt issuances during the two-year suspension, county officials said.

“Regrettably, federally imposed fines seem to be insufficient to change behavior. If pulling our business is what it takes to change behavior, then so be it,” Simitian said in a statement.

“My hope and expectation is that action by our County might prompt similar action by other jurisdictions in the state and the nation,” Simitian said.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is looking to cut ties with Wells Fargo under legislation introduced Tuesday by supervisors Jane Kim and John Avalos.

The legislation asks the city to consider a “responsible banking ordinance,” revoke the naming of Wells Fargo Plaza at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and launch an investigation by the city and district attorneys into the bank’s practices.

“Wells Fargo is committed to fix what went wrong and restore the public trust,” the company said in a statement Tuesday.

“We have already provided full refunds to customers we identified as having accounts that could have been unauthorized,” according to the statement.

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