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File #: 200533    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: IN COUNCIL - FINAL PASSAGE
File created: 10/1/2020 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action:
Title: Calling on Comcast Spectacor to reconsider its naming rights agreement with Wells Fargo based on its history of unethical banking practices.
Sponsors: Councilmember Bass, Councilmember Brooks
Attachments: 1. Resolution No. 20053300

Title

Calling on Comcast Spectacor to reconsider its naming rights agreement with Wells Fargo based on its history of unethical banking practices.

 

Body

WHEREAS, The Wells Fargo Center is the home arena of the Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia 76ers, Philadelphia Soul, and the Philadelphia Wings, in addition to being the site of many notable athletic events, two political conventions, and a regular venue for concerts; and

 

WHEREAS, Since opening in 1996, the arena has been known by a number of different names through naming rights deals and bank mergers, including CoreStates Center from 1996 to 1998, First Union Center from 1998 to 2003, and Wachovia Center from 2003 to 2013. Since 2013, naming rights have been held by Wells Fargo, after their merger with Wachovia; and

 

WHEREAS, The Wells Fargo Center is owned by Comcast Spectacor, a Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment company, and is operated by its arena management subsidiary, Spectra; and

 

WHEREAS, Wells Fargo has faced and settled numerous predatory lending cases filed by American cities and the federal government, beginning in 2012 where it agreed to pay $175 million in a multi-state settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice in response to issues of discrimination related to the bank's subprime mortgages; and

 

WHEREAS, In September 2016 Wells Fargo was issued a combined total of $185 million in fines for creating over 1.5 million fraudulent checking and savings accounts and 500,000 credit cards that its customers never authorized; and

 

WHEREAS, In the aftermath of the account scandal, states and cities across the country- including New York City, Seattle, California, and Illinois-suspended billions of investment contracts with Wells Fargo; and

 

WHEREAS, In October 2016 Philadelphia City Council passed a resolution, sponsored by Councilwoman Cindy Bass, on the feasibility of removing Wells Fargo as one of the City’s depositories; and

 

WHEREAS, In April 2017 Philadelphia City Council unanimously voted to remove Wells Fargo as a depository for City employee payroll deposits, transferring over $2 billion in assets to another financial institution; and

 

WHEREAS, In May 2017 the City of Philadelphia filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo for allegedly violating the Fair Housing Act of 1968 by steering minority borrowers into mortgages that were more expensive and riskier than those offered to white borrowers; and

 

WHEREAS, The Federal Reserve took a historic action earlier this year by mandating that Wells Fargo could not grow larger than the $1.95 trillion in assets that it currently held and requiring the bank to replace several directors on its board, citing “widespread abuses”; and

 

WHEREAS, It was recently announced that Wells Fargo will pay $1 billion to federal regulators after admitting that hundreds of thousands of its auto loan customers had been sold auto insurance that they did not want or need and in many cases customers who could not afford the combined auto loan and extra insurance payment fell behind on their payments and had their cars repossessed; and

 

WHEREAS, Despite the bank continuing to face the fallout of its sales-practices scandal and other issues; Well Fargo's board of directors gave CEO Tim Sloan a $4.6 million raise in March 2018; and

 

WHEREAS, A scandal-plagued financial entity sponsoring one of our City’s most popular venues stands in stark contrast to the many entertainment and cultural institutions which epitomize the spirit, pride, and goodwill of our City; now, therefore, be it

 

RESOLVED, BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, That Council does hereby call on Comcast Spectacor to reconsider its naming rights agreement with Wells Fargo based on its history of unethical banking practices.

 

End