Faith-Based Shareholder Plans to Pressure Wells Fargo and Citi

by Sarah Krouse for The Wall Street Journal

A religious shareholder group that has in recent months pressured two of the largest U.S. banks into publishing reviews of their business standards, is out to repeat the feat at Wells Fargo WFC +2.48% and Citigroup C +2.75%.

The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility will Friday afternoon have a teleconference with Wells Fargo officials to discuss the bank’s internal standards and the publication of details of them.

The organization, which represents groups with over $100 billion of invested money, is planning similar talks with Citi in the coming months, according to Seamus Finn, chairman of the ICCR board.

Mr. Finn said: “It would be helpful for us as investors and the general public to have one place to go to see what changes they’ve put in place since the 2008 financial meltdown.”

The ICCR declined to comment on the size of the collective stakes its members hold in Wells Fargo and Citi.

A spokesman for Wells Fargo said: “We have appreciated the engagement we’ve had with them in the past and we meet with them from time to time.”

A spokeswoman for Citi said: “Citi has long enjoyed a productive dialogue with the members of the ICCR.”

The moves come as investors and regulators step up efforts to ensure the world’s largest banking institutions address issues of culture and behavior. These efforts follow a string of high-profile scandals in the banking world, ranging from benchmark manipulation to sanction violations, that have cost banks billions of dollars in fines and huge reputational damage. Read more here.


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