LA CBB Members Meet with CFPB
On January 27th bank workers and members of Committee for Better Banks – LA met with the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) in Los Angeles to discuss how sales goals remain rampant and a serious problem across the financial industry. The CFPB, a federal regulatory agency, was established to protect consumers after the great recession in 2008. During the meeting with the CFPB, Committee for Better Banks members shed light on the consequences of sales goals in banks including but not limited to harming both bank workers and consumers by creating a hostile work environment that promotes predatory banking practices. In Los Angeles, the City Council has taken the first steps in holding banks accountable that do business with the City of Los Angeles are acting within the law and in the best interest of our local economy.
Lobby Day for Consumer Protection
On Feb 22nd The Committee for Better Banks, Communications Workers of America (CWA) and Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) members came together to lobby the LA City Council to demand worker and consumer protections against predatory banking practices such as sales goals. With Trump’s recent executive orders to roll back consumer protections under Dodd-Frank, State and Municipal governments are using their contractual authority to hold banks accountable. As the City of Los Angeles prepares it’s Banking Service RFP and the amendment to the Responsible Banking Ordinance (RBO) to include limits on predatory sales goals and protections for consumers and whistleblower protections it is important to incorporate accountability measures for banks that act unlawfully and unethically.
Wells Fargo Divestment March and Rally
On March 10th, Los Angeles Committee for Better Banks members joined Divest LA in a march and rally in support of Standing Rock & the Water Protectors and demand that the City of Los Angeles hold banks accountable for their role in contaminating the Earth and fleecing our communities. The action focused on demanding that the City of Los Angeles divest from Wells Fargo.
The banking industry led by Wells Fargo continue to fund the Country’s dependence on fossil fuels rather than transition to renewable energy. Wells Fargo stands out as one of the largest contributors to the Dakota Access Pipeline, having invested $467,000,000 in project-level loans and revolving credit, which has enabled the repression and intimidation against the nearly 200 Indian Nations, environmental organizations, journalists and other non-violent demonstrators.
Wells Fargo is currently the largest contract holder for the banking services for the City of Los Angeles. The City of Los Angeles should not reward irresponsible businesses the works to defraud the general public.
Lobby Day for Bank Accountability
On March 25th, former banker workers, consumers and activists met with Los Angeles City Council members to advocate for a divestment in Wells Fargo, and the need to end sales goals and predatory practices at all banks. They spoke to Council members and their staff on the continued fleecing of thousands of bank consumers by Wells Fargo through overdraft charges. According to a recent Financial Times report on how the bank’s income from overdraft charges grew by 7.5 percent between July and September. That was five times faster than the rate of Wells Fargo’s main U.S. competitors – including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, TD Bank, and US Bank – which had an average increase of 1.3 percent during the same period.
During the lobby visits bank workers and consumers gave testimony on their experience with Wells Fargo and how it has negatively impacted their life. Wells Fargo is known for its high pressure sales environment, stressful and unhealthy working conditions, illegally foreclosing on working-class families, discriminating against people of color or low-income consumers, committing mortgage fraud, investing in the oppression of indigenous peoples and financing the destruction of our shared environment.