Maurice B.P.-Weeks of the Action Center on Race and the Economy says his groups and others have one goal in the protests. “Really to bring attention to and demands to the bank that is out of control with both their size, and their abuse with business practices,” he says. It is the first time the Wells Fargo Board will meet in Des Moines and the event comes on the heels of federal regulators hitting the bank with a $1 billion fine for loan abuses. Wells Fargo has also been fined after workers created millions of fake accounts to gain incentives.
B.P-Weeks says his group and others are protesting because of the impact on certain groups. “They are sort of America’s worst bank in many categories,” B.P.-Weeks says, “and many of those categories are targeting black and brown folk.” B.P-Weeks says they have four “Wells needs to get rid of their entire board of directors and the CEO Tim Sloan. They need to break up the bank. Wells needs to pay restitution to all of their various victims across all those different areas of their abusive business practices. And finally, to respect the workers’ right to organize without retaliation,” he says.
B.P.-Weeks says they are hoping the company will hear their protest and make changes. “Right now we have a petition that’s going on-line that has at last check has well over 15,000 signatures,” he says. “We are going to be at a later date delivering that to Wells Fargo. We certainly hope that the board and the CEO does respond.” Wells Fargo has about 16,000 employees across the state — with the bulk of them working in Des Moines and the surrounding metro area.