FORGO WELLS: Taking on America's Most Racist Bank - Action Center on Race and the Economy

For years, Wells Fargo workers at the Committee for Better Banks have been sounding the alarm over the bank’s predatory business model and unreasonable sales goals, which force workers to cheat customers in order to keep their jobs. This pushed workers to open more than 3.5 million fraudulent accounts. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. Wells Fargo has been preying on communities across America for years, especially communities of color. Whether it’s engaging in discriminatory lending, profiting from private prisons and immigrant detention centers, financing the gun industry, profiting from anti-Muslim policies, funding payday lenders, financing the Dakota Access Pipeline, supporting police foundations, trapping customers with its abusive car insurance and mortgage practices, or selling predatory municipal finance deals to our cities, states, and school districts, Wells Fargo’s business is built on stripping wealth from our communities. We’re fighting back.

Tell Wells Fargo: It’s time for Change!

Tell the Wells Fargo Board of Directors, CEO Tim Sloan and their shareholders to:

  • Fire the entire board of directors and CEO Tim Sloan
  • Break up the bank
  • Pay restitution to their victims
  • Respect workers’ right to organize without retaliation

Fire the Board of Directors and CEO

The Wells Fargo board of directors and CEO have presided over an endless stream of scandals. They opened 3.5 million accounts in customers’ names without telling them, got caught and then fired the workers. Wells Fargo and their shareholders are profiting from investments in private prisons, the Dakota Access Pipeline and the oil industry, and gun makers. The bank engages in predatory lending, tax avoidance, and endless consumer fraud scandals. It’s time for responsible governance, and that means cleaning house at Wells Fargo. 

Wells Fargo should be broken up into separate retail and investment banks

Wells Fargo engages in risky practices because the bank thinks it is too big to fail. Since the Glass-Steagall Act was repealed in 1999, the bank is mixing its risky investment practices with commercial bank practices. With a bank that is the third largest in the country, this has particularly dire consequences. It’s time to break up Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo should pay restitution to the victims of its abuses

Wells Fargo has devastated millions of lives. Wells owes restitution to the victims of its abuses, many of whom lost their homes and vehicles, had their credit ratings destroyed, and were forced into personal bankruptcy. 

Wells Fargo should respect workers’ right to organize without retaliation

Workers have been fired and retaliated against for speaking up. Moving jobs overseas is a company tactic that makes it harder for workers to speak out and build power. It’s time for Wells Fargo to do right by its employees and respect their right to organize.

Click here to sign our petition and then help us share our message using our social media toolkit

ACRE Condemns Wells Fargo’s Most Recent Attempt to Avoid Accountability with Forced Arbitration

August 24, 2017

Wells Fargo was in court today attempting to dodge accountability for widespread misconduct by invoking forced arbitration clauses hidden in the fine print of its customer contracts. Wells Fargo argued to the court that any claims of wrongdoing must be brought one-by-one in a secretive arbitration system, because they know that banks that rip off their customers fair much better in the arbitration system than in courts of law. In fact, when forced into arbitration, the average consumer ends up paying their bank or lender $7,725.  This case is happening just as the  Senate considers repealing a recent rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that would restrict forced arbitration so that banks like Wells Fargo can’t engage in predatory practices without consequences.

ACRE Co-Director Saqib Bhatti says “Forced arbitration is yet another way for Wells Fargo to continue to rip off communities of color. Wells Fargo has a history of targeting Black and Latino customers in particular for some of its most predatory practices. Now the bank is trying to avoid accountability by forcing its customers into a rigged arbitration system instead of giving them a fair day in court. This will make it harder for the families that Wells Fargo has preyed on to get their money back, and it will cost communities of color millions of dollars. We cannot allow it to happen.”

The case is Dolores Gutierrez, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank and it involves the reordering of debit card transactions to maximize overdraft fees, an illegal and harmful practice that affected more than a million of its customers andhit its low-income and communities of color hardest. In 2011, Bank of America settled similar class claims for $410 million; in 2012, JPMorgan Chase settled for $110 million. Wells Fargo is the only big bank that has refused to resolve this issue. The CFPB rule restricting forced arbitration will not affect pending cases, but it will ensure consumers can join together in class actions against banks like Wells Fargo in the future. This rule will help reduce incentives for banks’ predatory behavior and ensure that consumers have a shot at justice.

4/25/17 National Day of Action



Wells Fargo is having its annual shareholder meeting on April 25th at the Sawgrass Marriott, a golf resort on an island off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida. Since community leaders shut down its shareholder meeting in 2012, the bank has gone to great lengths to hold its shareholder meeting in obscure, faraway places so that its executives can hide from the families whose lives they destroy year in and year out. We want to send a clear message to CEO Timothy Sloan and other Wells Fargo executives: You can run, but you can’t hide. We will find you wherever you are and force you to come face to face with the lives you have wrecked. We’re calling for a national day of action against Wells Fargo on April 25th.

SIGN UP TO DO AN ACTION! Grab five friends and head to a Wells Fargo branch near you to deliver the Forgo Wells petition on April 25th. 


Dear Wells Fargo…

Please join us in on calling on Wells Fargo to take steps to start to repair the damage it has done to communities across the United States and around the world by signing onto our Dear Wells Fargo letter, below.


If your organization would like to sign onto this letter, please fill out this form.

#ForgoWells City Council Resolution

Moving our public dollars out of Wells Fargo


If Wells Fargo admits to cheating its customers, then there is no reason why any city in the country should do business with the bank. A growing number of cities and states are standing up and refusing to do business with Wells Fargo in the wake of the scandal. Join the movement and demand that your elected officials pass the #ForgoWells Resolution and stop doing business with Wells Fargo.

Click here to download the #ForgoWells City Council Resolution. The resolution can easily be adapted for state legislatures, county commissions, school boards, and other public bodies. You should tailor the whereas and resolved clauses to the issues and actions that make the most sense for your locality.

Click here to download our fact sheet about moving government business out of a bank. This document can help you evaluate which demands might make the most sense for your campaign.

The Wells Fargo Scandal in the News

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