Wells Fargo loses teachers' union business after it pledges its eternal loyalty to gun manufacturers


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/20/arms-dealers.html


I’m sure they will make up the lost business by the increased interest from far right groups



I suppose Wells Fargo just decided to double down on the evil.

Bonus question: which major Western bank continued to lend money to a certain failed casino owner long after the others realised that being a creditor to America’s foremost public grifter was not a good idea?


Dear Wells Fargo:


So the union was OK with stealing houses, stealing cars, creating fake accounts, screwing soldiers and all the other evil shit Wells Fargo did?


Did anybody lose this “/s”?


You know who else will give you a special mortgage? Your local Credit Union.

And they keep your dollars in the community.

And you won’t get a bunch of bonus accounts that you don’t know about.


Wells Fargo has now been fined multiple times for multiple types of fraud perpetrated on it’s customers. I would think this would include the teachers that the union was created to protect. And the union is just fine continuing to recommend them as their preferred lender.

But it’s lending to the gun industry that they are speaking out against.

This feels like less a true moral stand about protecting the interests of teachers and more a PR move at a time when it’s easy, and to some degree demanded of them, to speak out against the gun industry.


Can you imagine if we all took moral stands against every organisation and individual who ever did us wrong? Oh wait, imagination not required here - head to YouTube and look up militant veganism. shudders



I had a 401K account from an old employer with Will Fucku for years, I moved it away from them when the news started coming out about all the fake account fuckery.


Thanks for clearing that up, it’s sometimes hard to fully understand someone’s position on the internet.


Yes. Yes, they are.
Not taking a stand against other evil things does not preclude them for taking a stand against this. If that was the case nobody would be qualified to complain about anything.


OK, I am just going to call this out again as fucking bullshit. It is such fucking bullshit that I am defending Wells fucking Fargo.

AFT president Randi Weingarten finally sent Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan a letter stating, “[We] can only assume [that Wells Fargo] has decided that the NRA business is more valuable to you than students and educators are.”

Well what do you want? 20,000 mortgages (middle class at best) vs the potential investment of a BILLION dollar legal industry (not the hyperbole “rogue arms dealers”) These aren’t aviator glasses and beret wearing arms dealer selling AKs to FARC or African Warlords, its just regular old US based firearms manufacturers, which cover a HUGE gamut of company types and customer bases. So yeah, from a business sense, they are more valuable.

So YOU pressed the issue for - I don’t even know what reason. School shootings? How is trying to pressure a bank to not do business with gun makers going to do that? I can agree to disagree and even concede overly draconian laws may have some effects when it comes to new gun laws. I may not agree with that tree you are barking up, but can acknowledge it make some sense from ones point of view.

But this insinuation that they are valuing business over lives is nonsense. It has nothing to do with one another. It is virtue signalling that sounds right at home with homophobic cake makers. Blaming LEGAL GUNS SALES for the infinitesimally small number used in school shooting (the majority using guns not legally owned by the shooter) makes no god damn rational sense. Oh sure, you can connect some dots, but don’t delude yourself that they are directly related.

Let’s connect some dots - Wells Fargo invests in Apple or Samsung, who makes cell phones, which are used in cyber bullying, which leads to suicide. Or they invest in social media which leads to cyber bullying which leads to suicide. They invest in GM who makes the car that a guy plows through a group of protestors killing some of them. They invest in Coke or Pepsi or corn growers, whose sodas and corn syrup lead to millions of people with obesity, diabetes, and the early deaths that come with those health issues.

Can we agree that this is is ridiculous? I mean even if you don’t like guns, and you want more gun laws (both of which, I can “get”, even if I don’t agree), the idea we should be down on a business because a special interest group didn’t get their way is absurd. (A special interest group which isn’t even directly ABOUT the thing they were complaining about is even more absurd.)


Sure, but that doesn’t make it right. Morally this puts the bank IMHO with the likes of Philippe Morris and other dealers of death.

So now more than 20,000 teachers have mortgages with a bank that has sold it’s soul for the business of companies that couldn’t care less about teachers or our children’s lives and given Wells Fargo’s track record it’s just a matter of time before they figure out an evil way to screw over the loan holders.



  • I choose to patronize organizations that produce locally wherever possible because morally I prefer my goods not transit the world to get to me. Often this is not the cheapest option for me.
  • I choose cleaning products and cosmetics, where possible, that have not been tested on animals. Often this is not the cheapest option for me.
  • I choose locally farmed meat producers with proven track records on animal husbandry. This is most assuredly not the cheapest option, but I care about it morally.


  • Apple chooses to spend additional money to use only renewable electricity. This is not the most profitable path.
  • Method refuses to use any suppliers or components tested on animals. This results in their products being significantly more expensive and is not the most profitable path.
  • Several other banks have agreed not to do business with arms manufacturers. This is not the most profitable path for them.

Many people cannot make financial decisions based on their morals or ethics, because they cannot afford it. But many can, and do. And they do this not because it is the best use of their money, but because they feel purchasing products or supporting corporations that align with their morals or ethics is appropriate, even if it costs more.

You are welcome to consider such decisions as “bullshit,” but IMHO they are not difficult to understand. This bank choosing to do business with arms manufacturers is a position, one that differs from other banks, and is a differentiator that some will take into account when choosing where to bank.

The concept of “guilt by association” is not new, nor is the idea of purchasing decisions as a form of social commentary.


There are a fair number of teachers’ credit unions around the USA; i’m surprised that AFT doesn’t have one of its own.


Because the ease of gun purchases is the factor in the damage they do. It’s only a small percentage because the total is so big the raw number of the guns that do do damage is small in comparison. That is literally business over lives.

“we don’t want our ability to buy guns to be infringed on”
“we don’t want to fucking die.”


I think you missed my point.
They ignored Wells Fargo doing direct and immediate damage to those they had an obligation to protect. Period.
They spoke up vocally about a at best indirect multi-step removed damage against those same people.

This is not an action about helping the teachers they are obligated to serve, this is an action about generating good PR for the union itself.

Yes they have every right to speak out about the issues they feel impact teachers, I have no problem with that if it feels like they are authentically concerned about the issue. In this case it feels to me more like Renault being shocked to find gambling going on in Casablanca, while walking out with the winnings of that gambling. (I have no proof that they ever received a benefit from Wells Fargo for promoting them, but kickbacks are so common in the industry I can’t imagine they didn’t.)


Well, they are an investor and perhaps you’ve heard of this thing called ‘ethical investment’ or even ‘ethical banks’? Investors can make choices for all sorts of reasons, including their ethical preferences. You may accuse them of hypocrisy, but at that point we may as well be debating vegans using leather - it is hard for any ethical investor to avoid everything they might object to, but that does not negate the value or effect of them avoiding what they can/wish to.


Especially an investor with the institutional clout of the teacher’s union. That sets a real example for others to emulate and perhaps exceed. If they choose not to place their money with a bank so distressed that it does business with a demonstrably irresponsible industry (Exhibit A: their lobbying org is the NRA) others may follow.