01/15/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/16/2021 17:20
SAN FRANCISCO - Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf released the following statement in response to President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion economic stimulus plan:
'Throughout this pandemic, our primary concern has been the safety and well-being of our employees, customers, and the communities we serve. Wells Fargo remains fully committed to meeting their needs in these tumultuous times and we are committed to helping rebuild our economy, support small businesses, and preserve jobs that serve as the backbone of communities and neighborhoods across the country.
'The circumstances of so many of our valued customers and small businesses have become dire amidst financial uncertainty, political infighting, and lack of support - with minority-owned businesses suffering the toughest blow.
'The plan outlined in President-elect Biden's proposal of $1.9 trillion in stimulus provides new opportunities for relief, including support for minority business owners, direct payments to individuals, support for workers, child care credits for families, and much-needed assistance to state and local governments - all of which combine to get our economy growing and help our citizens in need. We encourage swift, bipartisan approval of this proposal as soon as Congress returns.
'In addition to the proposed stimulus by the incoming administration, I am proud of Wells Fargo's record over the past year to support small businesses through programs like the Paycheck Protection Program. During the first round of PPP, Wells Fargo was able to provide approximately 194,000 loans - with an average loan amount of $54,000, and with 41 percent of those originated in low-to-moderate income and majority minority census tract communities.
'We did this without taking one dollar of profit. Our fees went to serving people in need. We created the Open for Business Fund by committing $400 million in gross processing fees to provide targeted resources to support Black, African American, Hispanic, Latino, Asian American, Native American, veteran, and women-owned businesses - which have been closing at higher rates. So far, the Open for Business Fund has deployed more than $84 million in philanthropic capital to Community Development Financial Institutions - helping an estimated 16,000 struggling, minority-owned small businesses keep 50,000 small business jobs.
'On Tuesday, Jan. 19, an additional round of PPP funding will be released from the COVID-19 relief legislation passed in December. Wells Fargo commits not to take any profit from fees and to continue to support these important programs.
'I thank my colleagues at Wells Fargo for their dedication to assuring we are good stewards of the monies Congress has entrusted us to lend to those in need, and I pledge our continued cooperation with Congress and the new administration.'
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This news release contains forward-looking statements about our future financial performance and business. Because forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and assumptions regarding the future, they are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. Do not unduly rely on forward-looking statements as actual results could differ materially from expectations. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made, and we do not undertake to update them to reflect changes or events that occur after that date. For information about factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations, refer to our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the 'Forward-Looking Statements' discussion in Wells Fargo's most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q as well as to Wells Fargo's other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the discussion under 'Risk Factors' in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, available on its website at www.sec.gov.
Jennifer Dunn, (202) 320-8532