SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) --Wells Fargo endured a major blow Friday as the city of San Francisco announced it would drop the financial giant as a partner in its Bank on San Francisco program.
The city says that Wells Fargo can't be trusted, after accusations surfaced of over-selling credit cards and coercing customers into opening multiple accounts.
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During a recent senate hearing, the CEO was accused of promoting a culture of greed during 12 quarterly earnings calls from 2012 to 2014.
Reputable banks have gained the trust of people living in underserved communities through a program called Bank on San Francisco. Until today, Wells Fargo was one of those banks.
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At a press conference Friday, city treasurer Jose Cisneros said, "Given their wide spread egregious and potentially criminal actions, I am suspending Wells Fargo from the Bank on San Francisco program effective immediately."
Wells Fargo reacted, saying the bank will continue to address the needs of the "so-called underbanked. And added "it is disappointing that Mr. Cisneros has chosen to take an action that will only deter these efforts."
For years, Wells Fargo has pushed existing customers to open more accounts, calling it "cross-selling." But thousands of Wells Fargo employees went too far, opening secret accounts without customers' permission in order to boost sales.
During a recent senate hearing, the CEO was accused of promoting that culture of greed during 12 quarterly earnings calls from 2012 to 2014.
"And in all 12 of these calls you personally cited Wells Fargo's success at cross-selling retail accounts as one of the main reasons to buy more stock in the company," said Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
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So far, the financial institution is not saying how the scandal has affected business.
A former Wells Fargo employee from Daly City has started a grass roots effort to try to persuade people to close their accounts.
"Vote with your money by closing your account and moving your money out of Wells Fargo," he said.
The city says it is time for Wells Fargo to reach out to those affected.
"And help them to repair any credit damage they have experienced," said Andrea Luquetta of the California Investment Coalition.
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