March 2, 2017
In January 2017, the Seattle City Council voted 9-0 to cut banking ties with Wells Fargo, because of its involvement with the Dakota Access Pipeline project. According to the bill, the city would not renew its financial-services contract with the bank when it expires at the end of 2018.
Now Wells Fargo is saying that if the city wants out, the bank will sever its contract immediately, with no penalty. The bank said it would even help the city find a replacement bank. Seattle and Wells Fargo’s relationship stretches back 18 years, and the city moves about $3 billion a year through the bank.
Philip Smith, who heads up government and institutional banking for Wells Fargo, said he was surprised to learn the city wanted to terminate the relationship. “This is a dangerous precedent for Seattle,” he told the Seattle Times.
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