Aid announced for customers and communities impacted by COVID-19
Commitments include suspending residential foreclosure sales, waiving fees, and donating $175 million to help communities.
Updated April 24, 2020 | This story has been updated to include new actions the company has taken.
Wells Fargo today announced additional comprehensive steps to help customers and communities grappling with the impact of COVID-19.
To help customers, the company has suspended residential property foreclosure sales, evictions, and involuntary auto repossessions. Additionally, the Wells Fargo Foundation will increase its charitable donations to $175 million to help address food, shelter, small business, and housing stability needs, as well as to provide help to public health organizations.
The move adds to a significant series of actions the company has taken to assist and help protect employees, from expanding health and other benefits — including those to help employees navigate school and daycare closures — to implementing new policies to strengthen the safety of various work environments.
“The coronavirus is disrupting the daily lives of many people around the world, and Wells Fargo has taken — and will continue to take — the steps needed to support our customers, employees, and communities during this difficult time,” said CEO Charlie Scharf. “We will continue to evaluate this fluid situation and take additional action as necessary.”
“The coronavirus is disrupting the daily lives of many people around the world, and Wells Fargo has taken — and will continue to take — the steps needed to support our customers, employees and communities during this difficult time. We will continue to evaluate this fluid situation and take additional action as necessary.” — CEO Charlie Scharf
Wells Fargo is suspending residential property foreclosure sales, evictions, and involuntary automobile repossessions. The company also is offering fee waivers, payment deferrals, and other expanded assistance for credit card, auto, mortgage, small business, and personal lending customers who contact the company.
Additionally, in the interest of prioritizing employee and customer safety, Wells Fargo is temporarily closing some branches, adjusting operating hours of branches, relocating employees to busier branches, installing see-through barriers at bank branches to make it safer for employees to serve customers, and utilizing drive up instead of lobbies where possible. Customers can check Wells Fargo’s branch locator for ATM locations and the status of branches and can use mobile and online banking tools almost anywhere 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Donations from the Wells Fargo Foundation will be allocated via expedited grant-making at the local level and also via relief efforts in partnership with national organizations who work in a number of key areas across the U.S. Resources will be focused on helping nonprofits serve the immediate needs of the most vulnerable populations including for food, housing, and other emergency needs, including a $1 million grant to Feeding America to support their 200 member food banks as they work to feed people during this time of crisis.
Charitable donations will also be focused on three key areas, through collaboration with a number of national and local organizations: housing, small business, and financial health.
Housing stability: Funding will be allocated to critical housing needs such as helping renters and homeowners stay in their homes through foreclosure prevention assistance, housing needs, and financial counseling and coaching.
Small business: Resources will be deployed to meet the urgent needs of small businesses, $2 million of which will focus on the deployment of flexible capital in collaboration with Opportunity Fund. The resources will also provide immediate cash boosts and financial coaching support of entrepreneurs and their low-wage workers in coordination with SaverLife.
Financial health: Donations will support efforts to ensure ongoing financial health for families and individuals, including for financial counseling and coaching and through grants to help struggling hourly, part-time, lower-income, and gig economy workers navigate broad financial stability challenges due to loss of income.
The Wells Fargo Foundation will also support the creation of the Coronavirus Pandemic Financial Resilience Resource Center to help the 100 million people with disabilities and chronic health conditions nationwide with alternative and accessible information, and financial counseling, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Wells Fargo has made several enhancements to its U.S. benefits and time away programs to provide additional support to all U.S. employees. Efforts have included measures specifically for employees directly affected by coronavirus through illness or school closures. Across the company, including in branches, contact centers, and corporate locations, the company is enhancing social distancing measures, staggering staff and shifts, enabling work from home for as many employees as possible, and implementing an enhanced cleaning program in all locations.
Additionally, the Wells Fargo Foundation will donate $10 million to its WE Care Fund, which provides resources to colleagues who face a catastrophic disaster or financial hardship resulting from an event beyond their control. This program is available to those affected by coronavirus and is intended to help team members, especially those with limited resources, get back on their feet with basic necessities.