Wells Fargo announced yesterday in a statement sent to Mshale that it will soon start extending mortgages and other credit programs to DACA recipients commonly known as “Dreamers.”
The bank was hit with lawsuits last year for discriminating against those on DACA among a host of other legal and regulatory challenges it faced unrelated to DACA.
The announcement comes a few days before the bank’s chief, CEO Charlie Scharf and Chair Elizabeth Duke, are scheduled to testify before the US Congress’ Financial Services Committee regarding the beleaguered bank’s work culture and management. The DACA move is viewed as an attempt to address some of the concerns about the bank. A day before the DACA announcement, the bank had announced it would raise its minimum age to between $15-$20 per hour based on the market.
DACA, which stands for Deferred Action for Childhood is a 2012 Obama program meant to protect those who were brought into the US illegally as children and are now grown.
Except where barred by specific investors, mortgages and home equity loans will be extended to those on DACA that qualify for them, the banks statements said. The rollout will start in the first half of 2020 and continue to the first quarter of 2021.
“Wells Fargo’s product set and customer reach enable us to contribute meaningfully to the opportunity DACA recipients have to succeed in the United States. We believe it is incumbent upon us to make credit as available as possible for these individuals as they seek to realize their ambitions,” said Mary Mack, Wells Fargo’s CEO of consumer and small business banking. “This is part of our continuing commitment to provide responsible lending and to expand our financial support and partnership for the many diverse communities we serve.”
House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters, speaking to reporters after the bank’s moves, applauded Wells Fargo’s action on minimum age and moves to address overdraft fees, but said the bank has more work to do.
“It goes a lot deeper than several actions that are taken prior to coming to the board to change our opinion,” Waters said.