In case anyone thought that Wells Fargo’s now-former CEO John Stumpf falling on the sword and “retiring” would stem the tide of bad news for the bank, a former presidential candidate is now calling on his state to suspend business ties to the bank for at least a year.
One-time Republican presidential candidate and current governor of Ohio, John Kasich, announced Friday that he is using his power as governor to bar Wells Fargo from participating in future state debt offerings and financial services contracts initiated by state agencies for one year.
Additionally, Kasich said that he will seek to exclude Wells Fargo from participating in debt offerings initiated by the Ohio Public Facilities Commission.
Kasich’s office notes that Kasich is one of six votes on the OPFC. The remaining members are Ohio’s attorney general, auditor of state, secretary of state, treasurer of state and the director of the office of budget and management.
“It’s clear that Wells Fargo’s culture was compromised by greed and by a desire to make money that was stronger than a commitment to following proper ethical standards,” Kasich said.
“While Wells Fargo only does limited retail banking in Ohio, it does regularly seek state bond business so I have instructed my Administration to seek services from other banks instead, and I’ll cast my votes against Wells Fargo on the Public Facilities Commission,” Kasich continued.
“This company has lost the right to do business with the State of Ohio because its actions have cost it the public’s confidence,” Kasich added.
According to Kasich’s office, he may “revisit the decision” during the next year if Wells Fargo “makes progress in restoring a culture of integrity.”
Ohio’s move by a series of states and municipalities that have taken action to distance themselves from Wells Fargo in the wake of the fake account scandal surrounding the bank, which stems from more than 5,000 of the bank’s former employees opening more than 2 million fake accounts to get sales bonuses.
Previously, the city of Chicago, the state of California, and the state of Oregon suspended ties with Wells Fargo.
“Policymakers’ first instinct in these situations is often to just write another law, but we've seen that that doesn’t always make a difference,” Kasich concluded. “We need to send a message to this company—and every other company—that the public must be respected, that ethical standards must be respected and when they’re not it comes with a cost.”
(h/t Business Insider)