By Anna Sanders
New Yorkers can bank on these companies to do the wrong thing, advocates say.
The six “Worst Banks of 2019” got awards for bad behavior during an inaugural shaming ceremony held Tuesday by a coalition pushing for the creation of a New York City public bank.
The award ceremony was intended to highlight how the same banks that get billions in municipal deposits harm New Yorkers, neighborhoods and the planet.
“The banks on this list have chosen profits over people,” Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said. “Bankrolling our climate crisis, engaging in labor violations, redlining and funding slumlords shouldn’t be standard operating practice — especially when billions of the public’s dollars are in play.”
The city’s Banking Commission has designated 30 banks that can hold city deposits. The Public Bank NYC coalition contends many of them “systematically redline and extract wealth from NYC neighborhoods of color; finance landlords that evict large numbers of NYC tenants; bankroll destructive fossil fuel extraction; and more.”
TD Bank got the “Worst Redliner of NYC Neighborhoods of Color,” based on the proportion of their branches located in primarily black and brown neighborhoods.
Capital One and Signature Bank shared the “Worst Funder of Bad Landlords” award, which was determined by another advocacy group’s list of the city’s worst evictors.
JPMorgan Chase was deemed the “Worst Bankroller of the Climate Crisis,” based on a Rainforest Action Network report showing the company got more than $63 billion in fossil fuel financing last year, the most of any bank.
Bank of America got an award for being the “Worst Violator of Workers’ Rights,” determined by using a report on how large corporations shortchange paychecks.
And Wells Fargo won the “Lifetime Aggrievement Award” for “numerous reported scandals,” according to Public Bank NYC coalition.
A Bank of America spokesperson had no comment. Reps for the other banks didn’t return messages or had no immediate comment.