Religious leaders seek firm purpose of amendment from Wells Fargo over deceptive practices

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Sister Nora Nash and the Sisters of St. Francis in Philadelphia are pressuring Wells Fargo to make reforms. (Jonathan Wilson for NewsWorks

Sister Nora Nash and the Sisters of St. Francis in Philadelphia are pressuring Wells Fargo to make reforms. (Jonathan Wilson for NewsWorks

A group of religious leaders, including some Philadelphia nuns, is pressuring Wells Fargo to initiate  more reforms after its employees opened new accounts without customers’ permission.  

In the latest fallout from the debacle, Wells Fargo chairman and CEO John Stumpf resigned Wednesday afternoon.

But the Sisters of St. Francis in Philadelphia have been talking with Wells Fargo officials since 2005, long before the banking institution revealed that workers were setting up phony accounts to make bonus targets, said Sister Nora Nash.

“We’ve been regularly meeting with management on numerous issues related to the whole social purpose of financial institutions, and that is to provide service and equitable and affordable access to credit,” said Nash.

The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility — including the nuns — filed a shareholder resolution Monday calling for Wells Fargo to report on the root causes of the fake accounts scandal.  It’s time the bank acts more responsibly, Nash said.

“There have been tremendous ethical, cultural and common good lapses with this bank,” she said. “And the reputational risk is something we always reminded them about.”

The resolution will be addressed by the bank next year at the annual shareholders meeting.

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