You may recall that last year the City told Wells Fargo Bank that it would not be renewing its contract for bank depository service, and began the process of issuing an RFP for a new bank. Yesterday morning the Council got an update on that process, and the news is not good — though it may expedite the process of achieving the city’s long-term goal of running its own bank.
Yesterday Wells Fargo Bank sent a letter to the City of Seattle in response to the Council’s action to cut its business ties with the bank. In the letter, Wells Fargo’s Head of Government and Institutional Banking expresses its disappointment with the decision, invokes some concern trolling over the resulting “unintended consequences for taxpayers,” and defends its investment in the Dakota Access Pipeline project.
This afternoon the City Council ratified an ordinance that sets up the city to cut its ties to Wells Fargo Bank.
In a well-attended meeting of the Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods and Finance Committee this morning, the Council amended and passed out of committee a bill to cut ties with Wells Fargo and strengthen the city’s rules on socially responsible banking and fair business practices. But things got testy along the way.
Earlier this month, Council member Tim Burgess let it be known that he was working on an alternative version of a bill, introduced by Council member Kshama Sawant, that cuts the city’s ties with Wells Fargo and raises the bar for the “social responsible business practices” of the city’s banking services vendors. This morning he shared his version with his fellow Council members and the public. And in a surprise move, Sawant embraced it.
On Monday, Council member Sawant introduced a draft ordinance in response to recent unsavory acts by Well Fargo Bank. Let’s look at the details of that bill, as well as the recent back-and-forth communications between the city and the bank.
Tim Burgess’s announcement that he will not be running for re-election tops the news this morning.
There’s lots going on this morning. Let’s jump in.
Today Mayor Ed Murray, City Council President Bruce Harrell, and Council Budget and Finance chair Tim Burgess sent a letter to Wells Fargo backing out of a $100 million bond financing deal because of the recent allegations of illegal business practices at the bank.