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Sean D. Reyes
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AGO Holds Wells Fargo Accountable for Debanking ESG Policies

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined a letter to Wells Fargo’s Chief Executive Officer regarding several debanking policies that Wells Fargo has embraced. The letter, which the State of Montana led, also requests answers from Wells Fargo about its debanking policies and practices and its relationship with BlackRock.

The States write that Wells Fargo “appears to be using debanking as a political tool to extend the policies of the Biden Administration throughout the economy.” They add that the bank has “committed to the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, promising to align their customers’ greenhouse gas emissions in line with aggressive 2030 targets in link with the Biden Administration’s net-zero goals.” In addition, the attorneys general assert that Wells Fargo has “debank[ed] whole economic sectors, institutionalized discrimination by imposing race and sex-based quotas into credit agreements with customers like BlackRock, [and] debank[ed] Republican candidates and gun industry participants.”

In their letter, the attorneys general highlight that the number of American banks has been consolidated, leading to fewer choices for consumers and more leverage for the banks in the form of ESG policies being wielded against customers.

The States accuse the federal government of “exacerbat[ing] this consolidation process in two primary ways.” First, “by passing the Dodd-Frank Act in response to the failures of enormous financial institutions holding trillions of dollars, the federal government imposed heavy regulatory burdens on banks.” Second, “the implicit subsidy from the federal government has given a systemic advantage to larger banks and provided a subsidy estimated to amount to over $100 billion.”

Joining Utah and Montana on this letter were the States of Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Read the letter here.