In a statement released earlier this month, the mayor and city Comptroller Brad Lander released a joint statement that read, “As the Mayor and Comptroller of New York City, a diverse community where Black homeowners own and are the primary residents of more than a quarter of two-to-four person homes, we are both gravely concerned about the recent report in Bloomberg that Wells Fargo rejected over half of Black applicants seeking to refinance their homes in 2020 while approving over 70% of white applicants.”
The statement continued, “These disparate mortgage practices, layered upon a checkered history of steering homeowners of color into subprime mortgages, rejecting mortgages in redlined neighborhoods, and numerous outstanding consent decrees pertaining to mortgage practices, require a swift response by both your bank and stakeholders. In light of this persisting track record of discrimination, New York City will not be opening any new depository accounts with Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. as we continue to investigate these troubling findings.”
Other states have had issues with the bank as well. On Feb. 17, the Northern District of California Court filed a class-action race discrimination suit against Wells Fargo.
In 2017, the bank was removed as a designated bank of New York but added back in 2021.
New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams noted that “These disturbing practices are part of a long legacy and history of discrimination against Black Americans for generations, extracting wealth from our communities that perpetuates the country’s wealth gap.”
She continued, “As a City, we cannot in good conscience ignore this deplorable conduct. I support Mayor Adams and Comptroller Lander’s decision to stop opening depository accounts with Wells Fargo because these unacceptable actions must have consequences.”
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