Treasurer Magaziner Co-files Shareholder Proposal Calling on Wells Fargo to Address Unacceptable Consumer Fraud

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Rhode Island has joined a group of institutional investors filing
a shareholder proposal demanding Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) address recent revelations
of widespread consumer fraud and take steps to protect customers and shareholders
from illegal predatory banking going forward, General Treasurer Seth Magaziner
«Wells Fargo allowed millions of Americans to fall victim to widespread fraud and
the full extent of the damage to their customers, employees, and shareholders is
still unknown,» said General Treasurer Seth Magaziner. «On behalf of Rhode Island
taxpayers and members of the State’s pension system, we are entitled to know what
Wells Fargo allowed to happen and what steps they are taking to ensure that it can
never happen again.»
Thousands of Wells Fargo employees are alleged to have illegally opened accounts
for bank customers without their permission, charging additional fees to customers
and generating performance incentives for employees and managers. In September of
2016, Wells Fargo paid a $185 million settlement to the Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau. This is only the latest in a series of penalties for charges of long-term
widespread fraud, ethical lapses and discrimination within the company.
«The Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island believes that economic and financial
prosperity are rooted in ethical businesses practices,» writes Treasurer Magaziner
in a letter to Wells Fargo. «A full accounting of the root causes of widespread
fraudulent activity at the company and a clear plan for corrective action going
forward will go a long way toward rebuilding trust and increasing shareholder value.»
Rhode Island joins a coalition of investors, including The Sisters of St. Francis
of Philadelphia and members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
in co-filling a shareholder proposal requesting that Wells Fargo issue a
public report on «the root causes of the fraudulent activity and steps taken to
improve risk management and steps taken to improve risk management and control
The Office of the Rhode Island General Treasurer believes releasing the requested
information is in the company’s best interest and adoption of this proposal will
lead to stronger investment performance for Rhode Island pension system and all
Wells Fargo shareholders.