MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The city of Minneapolis is calling out Wells Fargo, saying they are looking into taking their business elsewhere.
The city council voted unanimously to explore ways they can stop doing business with banks that invest in the fossil fuel industry.
The council points to Wells Fargo’s backing of the Dakota Access Pipeline as an example.
“This is about looking at the options that we have as a city to use our taxpayer dollars in a responsible way, in a way that will protect the environment and the people,” said Councilmember Alondra Cano.
She says she proposed looking into how the city could end its relationship with Wells Fargo after her constituents showed concern that the nation’s fourth-largest bank is backing the pipeline project. And it is not just the environment she is concerned about.
“In the case of Wells Fargo, over two million fraudulent accounts that they opened up on behalf of people that they were not aware of,” Cano said.
She says the bank’s fake accounts scandal also raised red flags. But according to Wells Fargo, they have invested $300 million into building two towers near U.S. Bank Stadium, and they employee 11,000 people in Minneapolis.
A spokesman said in a statement, “We are very proud of our 131-year, long standing tradition of serving the Minneapolis community.”
Councilmember Cam Gordon, who wrote the proposal with Cano, said it is possible the city could alienate Wells Fargo, but he is hoping they can work together.
“I think that the city wants to be a good partner with Wells Fargo, and a good customer or client,” Gordon said. “So this is something to work out.”
The council has assigned their finance staff to see what other options may be out there, including possibly working with credit unions instead of banks like Wells Fargo.
They expect to have a detailed report on this by July of next year.