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Wells Fargo threatened by teachers union over bank's refusal to 'ditch' the NRA

A teachers union has issued an ultimatum to Wells Fargo over its relationship with the NRA. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

After being called the "go-to bank for gun makers and the NRA" by Bloomberg over the weekend, Wells Fargo is now being attacked by the American Federation of Teachers.

AFT president Randi Weingarten announced on Saturday: "We're issuing Wells Fargo an ultimatum. They can have a mortgage market that includes America's teachers, or they can continue to do business with the NRA and gun manufacturers. They can't do both."

Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan offered to meet with Weingarten during written correspondence between the two, but added, "When dealing with the safety of our families, children, and other issues of this magnitude, there are no easy or satisfying solutions. In fact, as I have publicly stated, I do not believe that the American public wants banks to decide which legal products consumers can and cannot buy."

Sloan's statement comes weeks after Citigroup announced it would implement restrictions on gun sales for their retail clients. Citi's move was met with ridicule from Congressional Republicans, with Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) telling the bank's CEO Michael Corbat in a letter, "The very fact that Citi remains operational is due entirely to the generosity of the American taxpayers. Please don't forget that."

Citi said the intent of their new policy was to do their part in implementing gun control after "tragedy and inaction."

But Wells Fargo's CEO didn't wade into the politics of the matter, saying, "I don't know if Americans, regardless of which side of the issue you might be on, on whether or not folks should own guns or which type they should purchase, do they really want their bank to be making that decision? I don't know if banks or credit card companies or any other financial institution should be the arbiter of what an American can buy."

The Bloomberg report from Saturday says that Wells Fargo has a long relationship with the NRA, and that the bank is the top financier for firearms companies.

Sloan further noted that in 2017 his bank provided mortgage loans to 1,600 teachers who are members of the ATF. The firm also has a program that assists educators who need down payment assistance.


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