Over the last few weeks, the body blows came fast and furious for Wells Fargo.
First, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the city and county of Los Angeles fined the bank $185 million for more than 5,000 of the bank’s former employees opening more than 2 million fake accounts to get sales bonuses.
And last week, the state of Ohio became the latest to dump Wells Fargo, as Ohio Gov. John Kasich announced Friday that he is barring Wells Fargo from participating in future state debt offerings and financial services contracts initiated by state agencies for one year.
But Wells Fargo isn’t content to just accept Kasich’s actions and move on. The bank is vowing to fight for Ohio’s business.
“Wells Fargo values the State of Ohio’s business and will fight to earn it back,” the bank said in a statement released late Friday.
According to Wells Fargo, the bank’s business with the states of Ohio is conducted in a different division than its retail bank, where the fake account scandal took place.
“Wells Fargo manages its business with the State of Ohio in business lines that are separated from our retail bank: Wells Fargo Securities, which provides the state with access to U.S. capital markets, and Government & Institutional Banking, which specializes in commercial banking,” Wells Fargo said.
Wells Fargo’s branch presence in very limited, as according to the bank, it only operates one branch in Ohio.
While the bank works to earn Ohio’s business back, the bank states that it will continue to serve the state’s residents.
“In the meantime, Wells Fargo will continue to serve our Ohio customers and be the same, committed community partner in the state,” the bank said in its statement.
“In 2015, we contributed $1.1 million to nearly 145 Ohio nonprofits and schools and an additional $374,982 was donated to Ohio schools through Wells Fargo’s team member matching grants program,” the bank said. “Our Ohio team members contributed $176,750 through our annual Community Support and United Way Campaign. Our local team members also volunteered more than 17,000 hours.”
Kasich said Friday that his office could reconsider the decision to dump Wells Fargo if the bank “makes progress in restoring a culture of integrity.”
Until then, Wells Fargo is on the outs in Ohio – at least for now.