Contact: Kristina Bedrossian, CRC, at 818-307-9730 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Preet Singh, CCISCO, at 415-735-8935, or email@example.com;. Mike Roth, ACCE, at 916-444-7170, or firstname.lastname@example.org twitter: @NBLcampaign, #newbottomline
Broad coalition kicks off national campaign to hold banks accountable for foreclosures, recession
San Francisco, CA—Hundreds of people marched through San Francisco’s Financial District today to demand that Wells Fargo change corporate policies that bankrupt families, dismantle neighborhoods, and empty public coffers. During the bank’s annual shareholder meeting, a delegation of homeowners and clergy addressed Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf to demand an immediate foreclosure moratorium. Unlike other national banks, Wells Fargo has not changed its foreclosure procedures despite numerous confirmed reports of “robo-signing” and other illegalities in the foreclosure process.
“Today is very personal for my family. Since 2005, I have been fighting Wells for wrongful foreclosure,” said San Leandro resident Donna Vieira. “But through this process, I have learned that I am not alone. A quarter of foreclosures in this country happen right here in California and 700,000 families are in foreclosure right now. We need these banks to have a new bottom line that includes investing in our communities.” Vieira has spent the last several years organizing with leaders from CCISCO: Contra Costa Interfaith and ACCE: Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, two of the organizers of the protest.
According to the U.S. Departments of Treasury and Housing and Urban Development, at the end of 2009, there were 350,169 Wells Fargo homeowners eligible for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). As of Feb 2011, only 77,402 homeowners received permanent modifications. This is a mere 22% rate of modification, more than 2 years into the program (www.makinghomeaffordable.gov). Meanwhile, Wells Fargo received nearly $43.7 billion in federal bailout funds, according to a widely cited study by Nomi Prins of Demos, a nonpartisan think tank. Furthermore, Wells Fargo reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2010 that it paid CEO John Stumpf more than $17 million, including a $14 million bonus.
The shareholder actions are part of The New Bottom Line campaign fueled by a coalition of community organizations, congregations, labor unions, and individuals working together to build a movement that challenges established big bank interests on behalf of struggling and middle-class communities. Together, we work to restructure Wall Street to help American families build wealth, close the country's growing income inequality gap and advance a vision for how our economy can better serve the many rather than the few.
The New Bottom Line campaign includes National People’s Action (NPA), PICO National Network, Alliance for a Just Society, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), and Industrial Areas Foundation of the Southeast (IAF-SE) and dozens of state and local organizations from around the country.
Profits for the years 1996‐2010: $101.8 billionii
Profits since bailout (2009‐2010): $24.6 billioniii
Bank account fees in 2010: $4.9 billioniv
Credit card fee income for 2010: $3.7 billionv
Wells Fargo bank teller wage:† $10.63/hour ($22,100/year)vi
2010 CEO John Stumpf bonus: $14.3 millionvii
2010 CEO John Stumpf total pay: $17.1 millionviii
2010 bonuses and compensation: $27.2 billionix
Bonuses and compensation for top 5 execs last 10 years:‡ $345.5 millionx
Offshore subsidiaries in tax havens in 2008:§ 77xi
Lobbying since bailout (2009‐2010): $9.7 millionxii
Political contributions in 2008 & 2010 federal elections:** $7.0 millionxiii
At the end of 2009, there were 350,169 Wells Fargo homeowners who were eligible for HAMP. As of Feb 2011, only 77,402 got
permanent modifications, a 22% rate of modification more than two years into the program. Wells Fargo has canceled 118,697
trial modifications and denied 175,336 homeowners from accessing HAMP. Unlike other national banks, Wells Fargo has not
changed its foreclosure procedures despite numerous confirmed reports of “robo‐signing” and other illegalities in the
Over the last ten years, Wells Fargo paid the lowest worldwide tax rate of the top five big banks (24.8%‐‐$27.5 billion on $110.9
billion pre‐tax earnings) and reportedly did not pay any federal taxes in 2009.
KEEP FAMILIES IN THEIR HOMES: We are demanding that Wells Fargo establish a moratorium on all foreclosures until it
negotiates with our coalition to establish comprehensive reforms to their loan modification practices, including offering principal
reduction; affordable, fixed interest rates; and provide proof of ownership of the loan. We are also calling on Wells Fargo to
cease all illegal evictions of tenants in foreclosed properties and commit to working with real estate companies and servicers
who follow local and state tenant protection laws.
STOP PREDATORY LENDING: We are demanding that Wells Fargo stop financing predatory payday lending companies and stop
providing predatory payday loans to their own customers.
REBUILD OUR NEIGHBORHOODS: Cities and counties estimate that it costs approximately $34,000 per each foreclosed home
that becomes vacant and a potential blight on our communities. We are demanding you maintain and PAY the fines on your
blighted properties and help share in the cost to our cities and counties starting with Cities and Counties throughout California
with Foreclosure Blight and Building Registration Ordinances.
PAY YOUR FAIR SHARE: Wells Fargo needs to stop exploiting loop‐holes in property tax laws and federal tax shelters to avoid
paying its fair share of local, state and federal taxes.
RESPECT HUMAN RIGHTS: We are calling on Wells Fargo to stop investing in the GEO Group and other corporations that are
profiting off of immigrant detention centers and private prisons that detain immigrants and separate families.
ii Capital IQ.
iii Capital IQ.
iv 4Q10 Earnings Release.
v 4Q10 Earnings Release.
vii WFC DEF 14A, 21 Mar 2011, http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/72971/000119312511072275/ddef14a.htm
viii WFC DEF 14A, 21 Mar 2011, http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/72971/000119312511072275/ddef14a.htm
ix Capital IQ.
x Capital IQ.
xi GAO-09-157, INTERNATIONAL TAXATION: Large U.S. Corporations and Federal Contractors with Subsidiaries in Jurisdictions Listed as Tax Havens or Financial Privacy
Jurisdictions, Government Accountability Office, Dec 2008.
* Includes bailouts that the bank has paid back.
† 25th percentile is $9.83 per hour and 75th percentile is $11.42 per hour. $10.63 per hour is average of the two.
‡ 2000-2009; 2010 not yet available
§ Includes 18 Wells Fargo subsidiaries and 59 Wachovia subsidiaries.
** Includes contributions made by the bank's political action committee and its employees in the 2008 and 2010 federal election cycles. Includes Wells Fargo and Wachovia.