I'm with Code Pink Portland and We Are Oregon. I was asked to speak at the demo on April 23 in front of Wells Fargo in San Francisco. Below is an expanded and updated version of my remarks.
I was asked to speak here on how Wells Fargo's policies affect women in particular. Before I address that issue, I should say that for the last quarter century I've been working with people who became disabled through motor vehicle accidents, on-the-job accidents, or serious illnesses. First they lost their health, then their jobs and health insurance. After they depleted their life savings, they lost their homes. Seeing one person or family go through this is pretty upsetting. Hearing the same stories for 25 years, in the so-called "richest country in the world," is enough to make my head explode.
This brings me to the issue of Wells Fargo's crimes against women. I'm sure you've heard that Wells specifically targeted black and Hispanic communities with subprime loans. Women got the same treatment. According to the Consumer Federation of America, although women and men have roughly the same credit scores, women were 32% more likely to receive subprime loans than men. This was true across the boardówithin every income and ethnic group. According to Maria Poblet, executive director of Causa Justa (Just Cause), the majority of foreclosures have been on female-headed households.
With all these lucrative investments, 2011 was a banner year for Wells Fargo. Yesterday, April 24, they voted to give CEO John Stumpf an annual salary of $13 million, plus additional compensation worth $7 million.