Wells Fargo refused to publicly oppose President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement. The bank’s executives are worried about taking strong political positions in the wake of a scandal over its creation of 2 million fake accounts and credit card applications in customers’ name, according to internal emails obtained by HuffPost.
“We have taken the position thus far of not commenting on the Paris Accord or any other climate change-specific policies, consistent with the [Operating Committee’s] desire for us to largely refrain from engagement on social issues for now,” wrote Jennifer Dunn, the bank’s spokeswoman in Washington, D.C., in an email to her team Friday morning.
Wells Fargo is taking such a cautious approach to social issues that it refused to take part in a May 10 open letter signed by 30 chief executives from rivals including Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase that urged Trump to stay in the Paris deal. “We were asked to sign on to a letter that went in the WSJ a couple weeks ago with many CEOs that was directed at the President and did not feel it would be appropriate given this overall approach and our current position with policy makers,” Dunn wrote.
Wells Fargo’s “current position with policy makers” is extremely tenuous because of the fake accounts scandal: The bank faces ongoing investigations from the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, the Senate Banking Committee, and state attorneys general in California and Illinois. California, Massachusetts, Ohio, Chicago, and New York City have stopped doing bond deals with the bank in response to the fraud.
A HuffPost reporter…