Wells Fargo

California
Banks, Diversified Financials

Corprate Bias Ratings

Risk Level:

Rating - Danger
High Risk

Wells Fargo has canceled clients and cut off financing to some legal industries. The bank quit doing business with a private detention company, halted donations to Florida school scholarships due to religious differences, and cut off partnerships with oil and gas groups. Wells Fargo lacks employee protections against viewpoint discrimination. The company uses its corporate reputation, funds, and PAC donations to advance ideological causes hostile to freedom of expression. Wells Fargo is part of Glasgow's Net Zero Alliance and is committed to carbon neutrality by 2040. For these reasons, Wells Fargo receives a High Risk rating.

Criteria
Risk Level
Rationale
Corporate Weaponization
Criteria

Has denied service to customers, suppliers, or vendors due to their political views or religious beliefs OR corporately boycotts, divests, or sanctions regions, people groups, or industries.

Risk Level
Rationale

Wells Fargo has cut off business partner GEO Group, a private detention company, after pressure from a leftist coalition angered at the Trump administration’s immigration policy (1). Wells Fargo worked with the NRA for years and resisted social pressure to cut off the organization for some time, but Wells Fargo has recently had a “declining” relationship as the CEO appears eager to cut ties with the NRA (2)(3). Wells Fargo has instituted special “due diligence” procedures for the firearms and energy industries (4)(5). Though the extent of these procedures is unclear, Wells Fargo suddenly terminated a firearms dealer in Florida without a specific reason after 14 years of managing the corporate account, giving the owner one month to find a new bank (6). Wells Fargo received a score of 100 on the Corporate Equality Index (CEI) from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Among other requirements, this means the bank has pledged to vet vendors based on LGBTQ policies (7)(8).

Criteria

Charitable giving (including employee matching programs) policies or practices discriminate against charitable organizations based on views or religious beliefs.

Risk Level
Rationale

Wells Fargo pulled funding from Florida scholarships over concerns about the religious convictions of schools receiving the funding (1). Wells Fargo will not give grants to religious organizations unless they are engaged in non-sectarian community work under a separate 501(c)(3) status (2) However, the bank gives to ideological groups like the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) (3).

Criteria

Employment policies fail to protect against discrimination based on political affiliation/views and/or religion.

Risk Level
Rationale

Wells Fargo does not provide viewpoint protections for its employees (1).

Corporate Governance and Public Policy
Criteria

Uses corporate reputation to support ideological causes and/or organizations hostile to freedom of expression.

Risk Level
Rationale

Wells Fargo was the first company to feature a same-sex couple in an ad campaign, and it also offers a transgender flag debit card (1)(2). It also advocates for the Equality Act and transgender participation in youth sports (3)(4). Wells Fargo has opposed the Florida Parental Rights in Education Act, which prohibits teaching gender identity and sexual orientation in schools to kids in K-3rd grade (5). Wells Fargo requires anti-racism training for all managers, as well as compensation linked to improving (skin color) diversity (6). Wells Fargo also funded the Boise Pride event, which featured drag shows including children as young as 11 years old (7). Wells Fargo is part of the Net Zero Banking Alliance and a Ceres Network Member, committed to carbon neutrality by 2040 (8)(9)(10). Wells Fargo has signed the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion pledge (11). Wells Fargo has published a statement generally opposing state-level election security bills (12). Wells Fargo has signed the OneTen pledge to emphasize race in hiring (13). CEO Charles Scharf is a member of the Business Roundtable, but has not supported ideological initiatives (14).

Criteria

Uses corporate funds to advance ideological causes, organizations, or policies hostile to freedom of expression.

Risk Level
Rationale

Wells Fargo has given over a million dollars to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and funds an array of other LGBTQ groups (1)(2). Wells Fargo looks to fund charities that “promote diversity, equity, and inclusion and leverage racial equity/social justice and sustainability best practices and principles” (3). As part of these efforts, Wells Fargo committed $210 million toward “racial equity in residential lending,” but only for Black clients (4)(5). Wells Fargo provides travel benefits for abortion (6). Wells Fargo is a Silver sponsor of Out and Equal and a founding corporate partner of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (7)(8).

Criteria

Uses corporate political contributions for ideological, non-business purposes.

Risk Level
Rationale

Wells Fargo donated to the Equality PAC (1)(2).

All links were last accessed and all information was updated on:
December 5, 2023

Company reports are intended for educational use only. Full Disclaimer

Voting History

Date
ESG Category
Proponent
Summary of ResolutionMgmt RecTotal Vote % in Favor
5/3/23GovernanceJohn CheveddenAdopt that Directors be Elected by Majority VoteAgainst0.00%
4/25/23SocialThe Comptroller of the State of New York, Thomas P. DiNapoliAnnual Report on Prevention of Workplace Harassment and DiscriminationAgainst52.30%
4/25/23GovernanceJohn CheveddenAdopt Simple Majority VoteAgainst50.00%
4/25/23GovernanceAFL-CIO Reserve FundPolicy on Freedom of Association and Collective BargainingAgainst34.10%
4/25/23EnvironmentalThe Sisters of St. Francis Dubuque Charitable TrustClimate Lobbying ReportAgainst32.00%
4/25/23EnvironmentalAs You Sow on behalf of Minnesota Valley TrustClimate Transition PlanningAgainst30.80%
4/25/23SocialHarrington InvestmentsPolitical Spending and Values CongruencyAgainst28.30%
4/25/23EnvironmentalThe Sierra Club FoundationNew Policy Phasing Out Lending to New Oil and Gas ExplorationAgainst8.50%
4/26/22SocialSEIU Master TrustOversee and Report a Racial Equity AuditAgainst35.74%
4/26/22SocialAmerican Baptist Home Mission SocietyReport on Respecting Indigenous Peoples’ RightsAgainst25.63%
4/26/22GovernanceNew York State Common Retirement FundReport on Incentive-Based Compensation & Risks of Material LossesAgainst23.68%
4/26/22GovernanceArjuna CapitalReport on Board DiversiyAgainst11.54%
4/26/22EnvironmentalSierra Club FoundationAdopt a Financing Policy Consistant with IEA's Net-zero Emissions by 2050 ScenarioAgainst10.80%
4/26/22GovernanceJohn CheveddenAdopt Management Pay Clawback Authorization PolicyAgainst7.15%
4/26/22SocialNational Legal and Policy CenterReport on Charitable ContributionsAgainst4.42%

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