Kshama Sawant Wants Seattle to Stop Doing Business with Wells Fargo


Wells Fargo regularly discriminates against people of color who participate in research studies at UW by denying them cash when they bring checks to this bank.
I agree! And thanks for the info about them supporting the pipeline.
People don't realize that this very much happened to people here locally, in our neighborhood branches. My Aunt still has ruined credit from the Queen Anne branch opening a phony account with fees that she didn't know were accruing. She found out when denied a loan at another bank. They made her come in person to pay the fees even though she lives out of state.
I want to go out there with a picket sign and tell my neighbors.
Oh, come on. Don't be naive. Give me a break. All banks, and big business, are the same. Just because the others haven't been caught with their hand in the till doesn't mean they are any more honest, ethical, or moral. Instead of knee jerk reactions, I would expect more forward thinking. Well, not from Sawant, but from people who consider themselves to be leaders.
@3: word
@3 Sawant is right. If there is no penalty for doing anything wrong then nothing will change. Once the city refuses to do business with Wells Fargo, it will put other financial institutions on notice that we're not going to put up with their dishonest shit.
@3 - I don't know why everyone hasn't already joined Credit Unions. They are member-owned co-operatives, and thus tend not to engage in nefarious dealings because the membership tends to give a fuck about that stuff. Also, super-low minimum balances, actually free checking accounts, and lower-than-commercial-banks' VISA card interest rates.

Co-ops, the best answer we currently have to Capitalism's growth-based dictates.
Bigcrouton and treacle have nailed it.
I love those new Wells Fargo commercials. "We've stopped committing atrocious crimes and swindling you out of your money. We're real honest now, some come bank with us!"
I'll be curious to see who on the City Council votes against this.
+1 for credit unions, although not all are created equal. Some are almost as shitty as big banks. However, since they pretty much all pride themselves on low rates and non penalties, if one doesn't treat you right, just take your money out and put it in a different one. The better ones will also give you bonuses for transferring mortgages, car loans, etc. Problem solved.
Wouldn't it be crazy if the city used a local Credit Union instead? BECU. Just saying.
@6, @7, @10: Can someone recommend an area credit union with especially active membership? I'm interested in a credit union that really feels like a co-op--with an active membership guiding organizational policy. Bonus points for a focus on privacy.

I have used Watermark (formerly Seattle Telco) since Josh Feit, several hundred others, and I marched into Washington Mutual to cancel our accounts after they were found to be lobbying against mass transit. Watermark merged with Sound about two years ago,f and my experience has been that they (or, I should say, we) have gone downhill since. It seems that when old Watermark policies conflict with Sound policies, the policy adopted by the new combined organization is the one that does not benefit the member. I, myself, have not been a particularly proactive member, so I'm as guilty as the next of allowing this to slide.

Don't be naive, Kshama. Grow up, Kshama. You're never going to accomplish anything with that attitude, Kshama. Let the adults show you how it's done, Kshama.

Where's Ed Murray? Ed will set the real agenda. Watch and learn, Kshama.
Close bank accts with Wells Fargo now. Why wait until 2018? If there is a contract, their fraudulent illegal behavior has to invalidate the agreement. The City is condoning criminal acts by continuing any business with them. Public funds should not be at risk. No debate about this.
@12 I keep joining co-ops, credit unions, member-owned entities like Group Health, Cascade bank(now absorbed into Opus bank) was a member shareholder bank with another name long ago, - and they keep morphing into standard issue entities. During the United Nations year of the coop 2012 - they had a panel where with some pretty frank discussion about how much of a co-op organizations like PCC really end up being. I haven't always been involved in the governance, but I do tend to attend annual meetings. I think the frustrating part is that leaders to the board are recruited for their business or connections without any thought to their understanding or commitment to the basic premises of co-operatives. I'm anxious to see what suggestions you get here.
@12 I don't know about active membership because I'm not interested in being an active member, but WSECU (Washington State Employees Credit Union) and Inspirus Credit Union (formerly WA School Employees Credit Union) are GREAT, very low interest rates for loans and credit cards, zero fees, extremely helpful and responsive customer service. They used to be for state and school employees only, but I think they've recently opened up membership to everyone who live in WA.
This is what I both love and hate about CM Sawant. On the one hand, it's great to have her take on the banks, which are all terrible. On the other hand, the city switching banks is not like you or I going into the local branch and making a big thing out of getting a cashier check. It's a complicated matter that would take months to do and cost a lot of money to implement. In the meantime, city government has a need for a stable banking environment.

Also, I heard that state law prohibits municipalities from using credit unions for their banking needs. I don't know if that's true, but it sounds like something state law would prohibit.

@4, @5, @5, If abuse by the private sector wasn't systemic, then we would be speaking the same language. However, our problems go much much (much) deeper and to argue about one single company is not going to help. This is an example of what failure looks like in an under regulated private sector. It's just an example and to believe that Wells Fargo is any different than any other large bank, corporation, or any other large private venture is naive and doing yourself and everyone else a disservice. We should expect our legislatures to sever their relationships with the private sector and they should begin rationally and conservatively regulating them. Then enforcing those regulations. But to spit at one company thinking we've accomplished anything is useless.
"political relationships".
Furthermore, Sawant should be spending more time making the city work for us. Regulating the private sector is not a role entrusted to city administrators. That should happen at a State and a Federal level to be effective.