Wells Fargo has gotten worse by the month over the last year. I keep feeling like they really don’t want to do business with people below a certain place on the economic scale.
From The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/20/business/marijuana-candidate-wells-fargo.html
By Emily Flitter
Aug. 20, 2018
Nikki Fried, a Democrat running for agriculture commissioner in Florida, has made no secret of her support for medical marijuana.
Further expansion of the state’s program is the highest priority on her campaign website. Before entering the race, she ran a lobbying firm, Igniting Florida, and described herself as “one of most visible faces and key activists in Florida’s burgeoning medical cannabis industry.”
Even so, employees at Wells Fargo, where her campaign held an account, had questions about her platform.
The bank, which says it has a policy against serving marijuana-related businesses, had noticed that Ms. Fried was “advocating for expanded patient access to medical marijuana.” It asked the campaign in July whether it would be receiving money from “lobbyists from the medical marijuana industry in any capacity.”
The campaign replied that, yes, Ms. Fried would be receiving donations from lobbyists as well as “executives, employees and corporations in the medical marijuana industry.”
Last week, the campaign said it had received written notice that Wells Fargo was closing its account.
On Monday, Ms. Fried urged her supporters to consider pulling their money from the bank.
“This is absolutely unprecedented,” she said in a telephone interview. “I’ve been in this campaign since the beginning of June. Everybody in Florida knows that I’m one of the main proponents of the expansion of medical marijuana.”
Wells Fargo isn’t the first bank to close a customer’s account over money that could be related to the sale of marijuana, which is legal in some form in states including Florida but still prohibited by federal law.
That conflict has had banks large and small walking a line for more than a decade, since the first states began changing their cannabis laws. Marijuana growers have struggled to open and maintain bank accounts, and dispensaries have relied on cash to do business instead of credit cards. Businesses like construction companies and electricians that provide services to the growers and distributors have also had problems.
The biggest banks are traditionally the most cautious. But Wells Fargo’s scrutiny of Ms. Fried’s political beliefs set its decision apart.
“If a bank is going to start drawing a line based on a candidate’s particular advocacy, where does a bank draw that line?” asked Christian Bax, who until Aug. 10 was Florida’s medical marijuana director. “Is it going to extend to every candidate in Florida who advocates for medical marijuana?”
A Wells Fargo spokeswoman declined to discuss Ms. Fried’s case specifically, but said the bank has a policy of avoiding the marijuana industry.
Continue reading at: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/20/business/marijuana-candidate-wells-fargo.html