Bank Transfer Season is on. Yesterday, clergy in San Francisco announced plans to divest $10 million from Wells Fargo.
40 clergy from across San Francisco gathered outside the headquarters of Wells Fargo to call on the bank to put an immediate freeze on all foreclosure activity and conduct broad-based principal reduction for underwater homeowners. It came just days after the San Francisco recorder-assessor, Phil Ting, released a report casting doubt on the legality of 85% of the foreclosure activity taking place in the city. The clergy were joined by another 50 community leaders.
The event was held on Ash Wednesday in the Christian liturgical calendar, the start of the Lenten season, and included a clear call to the bank to “repent” and atone for their misconduct. One of the clergy-persons, Rev. Gloria del Castillo, gave testimony about her own experience of going through foreclosure with Wells Fargo, despite being a faithful client of the bank for more than three decades. She then proceeded to sprinkle ashes on the sidewalk in front of the bank.
Several clergy and other community leaders in attendance announced that they are moving their congregation’s or institution's money out of Wells Fargo, including one who attended the event with a check in hand of their divested money. The collective pledges accounted for $10 million. The clergy made a clear call for other faith communities to join them over the coming months in divesting from Wells Fargo and other big banks until they in turn stop divesting from our communities by ending the foreclosure crisis and reducing the massive overhang of underwater mortgage debt.
Stay tuned to The New Bottom Line for more information on Bank Transfer Season to Move Our Money.
Check out this video from the action: