Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

ONE DAY left in this Mid-Year Campaign. This is our hour of need.
If you value independent journalism, please support Common Dreams.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

For Immediate Release

Press Release

Wells Fargo Is Too Big To Manage

Public Citizen Files Shareholder Resolution Calling on Wells Fargo to Study Breakup
WASHINGTON -

Public Citizen has filed a first-ever shareholder resolution (PDF) at Wells Fargo calling for a breakup study in the wake of the bank’s massive fraud. The resolution, submitted Thursday by Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, asks the Wells Fargo board of directors to retain independent experts to explore whether the company would be worth more in parts, with the FDIC-insured bank separate from other divisions.

“Roughly 5,300 employees of the community banking division perpetrated a massive fraud by unlawfully opening two million accounts for unwitting customers,” the resolution explains. “Rather than sanction the community banking chief executive, Wells Fargo celebrated her tenure with a $125 million retirement package. Rather than acknowledging a management breakdown, CEO John Stumpf blamed a minority of bad employees. He claimed there was no reason for the employees to commit the fraud. ‘There was no incentive to do bad things,’ Stumpf told the Wall Street Journal. Taking CEO Stumpf at his word, then, we believe he effectively argues that his firm is so large as to be unmanageable.”

Naylor has submitted similar shareholder resolutions in the past two years to Citigroup, JPMorgan and Bank of America. Wells Fargo, once considered among the more conservatively structured of the megabanks with relatively little high risk derivatives activity, has nevertheless committed major infractions of the law in the past decade.

###

Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that champions the public interest in the halls of power. We defend democracy, resist corporate power and work to ensure that government works for the people – not for big corporations. Founded in 1971, we now have 500,000 members and supporters throughout the country.

'Stark Betrayal': Biden Administration Floats New Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

"This is the third time since November the Biden administration has announced new oil and gas leasing plans on the Friday before a holiday," said one climate advocate. "They're ashamed, and they should be."

Jake Johnson ·


As US Rolls Back Reproductive Rights, Sierra Leone Moves to Decriminalize Abortion

"I'm hopeful today's announcement gives activists in the U.S., and especially Black women given the shared history, a restored faith that change is possible and progress can be made."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Indefensible': Outrage as New Reporting Shines Light on Biden Deal With McConnell

The president has reportedly agreed to nominate an anti-abortion Republican to a lifetime judgeship. In exchange, McConnell has vowed to stop blocking two Biden picks for term-limited U.S. attorney posts.

Jake Johnson ·


Assange Makes Final Appeal Against US Extradition

"If Julian Assange is not free, neither are we," said a protester at a Friday demonstration against the WikiLeaks founder's impending transfer. "None of us is free."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Payoff for 40 Years of Dark Money': Supreme Court Delivers for Corporate America

"It was the conservative court's larger agenda to gut the regulatory state and decimate executive powers to protect Americans' health and safety," warned one expert.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo