|For immediate release
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Josh Zinner – 718-290-6389
Alexis Iwanisziw – 212-680-5100
DAVID VS. GOLIATH SHAREHOLDER RESOLUTION SHAKES UP WELLS FARGO’S ANNUAL SHAREHOLDER MEETING
NEDAP Delivers to CEO John Stumpf Personal Testimonials
from New Yorkers Harmed by Wells Fargo
NEDAP, an economic justice group based in New York City, spoke out today at Wells Fargo’s annual shareholder meeting in Salt Lake City, protesting the bank’s abusive and discriminatory mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices, and delivering testimonials from low income New Yorkers harmed by the bank.
The group, which holds shares in Wells Fargo, filed a shareholder resolution calling for an independent review of Wells Fargo’s mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices. NEDAP raised concerns that Wells Fargo is violating federal fair housing and fair lending laws, and cited a long list of legal and enforcement actions brought against the bank for its abusive lending and foreclosure practices.
Wells Fargo had petitioned the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to exclude NEDAP’s resolution, but the SEC upheld it against the bank’s formal objections.
The resolution received an impressive 21% of votes in favor, and spurred other shareholders at the meeting to question whether the bank is treating struggling homeowners fairly. Shareholders who voted in favor of the resolution collectively represent tens of billions of dollars in Wells Fargo stock, and the percentage of votes in favor guarantees that the resolution can be reintroduced next year.
“Today’s voting results show that a significant number of shareholders are concerned about the bank’s mortgage and foreclosure practices,” said Alexis Iwanisziw, NEDAP’s research and policy analyst. “Despite the bank’s entering into settlement agreements of unprecedented size and scope, the experience of groups on the ground suggests that Wells Fargo continues to violate the agreements and fair housing and fair lending laws.”
“Wells Fargo posted $19 billion in profits last year, and record profits last quarter, and received hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer bailout money,” said Josh Zinner, co-director of NEDAP.
“Meanwhile, the bank continues to cause harm, particularly to communities of color, and must be held accountable,” Zinner added.
NEDAP also hand-delivered to Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf a series of testimonials from New York homeowners harmed by Wells Fargo. In one video statement, Ms. D, a Bronx homeowner, said, “Wells Fargo, I hope that your way of doing business changes. We work long hours to keep the homes that we have and we deserve to be treated with respect.”
This year, Wells Fargo moved its shareholder meeting from California to Salt Lake City, in what many observers believe was an attempt to avoid protesters.
NEDAP works with community groups in New York City to promote economic justice and to eliminate discriminatory economic practices that harm communities and perpetuate inequality and poverty. NEDAP filed the Wells Fargo shareholder resolution with Reinvestment Partners, a Durham-based group that advocates for economic justice and opportunity