BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Could Maryland soon be cutting ties with Wells Fargo bank amid a massive banking scandal?
It was what Wells Fargo did to its everyday customers that is now costing them business with state governments.
Sales teams opened up one and a half million fake deposit accounts and 565,000 credit cards without telling customers. That produced a $185-million fine and a firestorm in Congress.
“I am deeply sorry we failed to fulfill our responsibilities to our customers, out team members and the American people,” said John Stumpf, CEO of Wells Fargo bank.
“That response was frankly a little bit, not a little bit, but incredibly disheartening,” said Jouhn Chiang, California treasurer.
Last week California stopped using the bank to purchase investments or underwrite bond sales, and is urging other states to follow suit.
Today, Illinois joined California and suspended investment activities with Wells Fargo.
“They should not be doing business with our state,” said Maryland State Senator Anthony Muse.
In a FaceTime interview, Muse says he wasn’t just talking about Wells Fargo’s current scandal.
He pointed back to the foreclosures of the housing crisis.
Muse says Wells Fargo’s lending practices hit black families in Maryland hard, by charging them more for mortgages.
“With loans in their words ghetto loans for mudfaced people,” said the Maryland senator. “I’ve contacted the governor to ask for his assistance to make sure we suspend our services and any kind of business transactions with Wells Fargo.”
Maryland’s treasurer is already looking into those transactions.
A decision on what to do about Wells Fargo is expected next week.
In a statement, Wells Fargo says it has worked diligently with Maryland’s government for years, and hopes to continue doing so in the future.