Wells Fargo’s Commitment to Serving Low- and Moderate-Income Communities Results in Highest-Possible Rating
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., has received a rating of “Outstanding” in its most recent Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Performance Evaluation, which covers the years 2012 to 2018. This rating reflects Wells Fargo’s strong performance on the exam’s components and the company’s proven commitment to serving low- to moderate-income communities. A copy of the OCC’s entire report can be found on Wells Fargo’s website.
“This new rating represents the significant progress Wells Fargo has made in recent years in lending to, investing in and providing service to low- and moderate-income communities across the country,” said Wanda Saez, Senior Vice President, Community Relations for Wells Fargo who serves on Greater Trenton’s Board of Directors. “While we know that our work to regain the trust of our customers, regulators and others is not complete, this rating is proof that our work is making a difference. We will continue this important work to help promote economic growth, sustainable homeownership and neighborhood stability in low- and moderate-income communities where we do business.”
The CRA Performance Evaluation notes that Wells Fargo is a “leader in making community development (CD) loans; makes “significant use of innovative and/or flexible loan products” to meet credit needs; provides retail banking options that are accessible in a majority of the areas surveyed; and serves its customers through full-service ATMs, phone banking, online and mobile banking and mobile payments.
“This is outstanding news,” said Greater Trenton CEO George Sowa. “Since the inception of Greater Trenton, Wells Fargo has provided critical leadership and resources as a member of our Board of Directors to help catalyze economic development in New Jersey’s Capital City and assist low-income populations.”
Established by Congress in 1977, the CRA encourages banks to meet the credit needs of all segments of the communities where and with whom they do business, including low- and moderate-income (LMI) populations and individuals. In 2017, Wells Fargo received an exam rating of “Outstanding,” but its final rating was downgraded to “Needs to Improve” due to past legal issues.
Wells Fargo has also deepened its commitment to serving low- to moderate-income communities by expanding its philanthropic strategy. Last year, the organization began strategically focusing our corporate philanthropy, concentrating on housing affordability, small business growth and financial health. Additionally, in 2019, the Wells Fargo Foundation invested $455 million in grants, funding national organizations to deliver programs at scale and nonprofits that specifically address the needs of local markets. In March they also announced, in response to the impact of COVID-19, a distribution of $175 million in donations to help address food, financial health, small business and housing stability, as well as to provide help to public health organizations.
A report entitled: Wells Fargo’s 2019 Corporate Responsibility Highlights is now available at wellsfargo.com. The report tracks the organization’s commitment to stakeholders as outlined in the Business Roundtable’s Statement of the Purpose of a Corporation, and features an introductory letter from CEO Charlie Scharf, which addresses the critical nature of their work in the context of these challenging times today.
“While we are proud of the new CRA rating and recent progress made toward realizing our corporate responsibility goals, we remain committed to the important work we have underway to improve economic growth, sustainable homeownership and neighborhood stability in low- and moderate-income communities,” added Saez. “We believe that work is meaningful in the communities we serve and in our relationships with important stakeholders like you.”
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