Wells Fargo spends big on lobbying, as pressure from Capitol Hill mounts

Wells spent $1.2 million on lobbying in the first quarter, exceeding other commercial banks and most financial firms

Apr 26, 2019 @ 4:00 pm

By Mark Schoeff Jr.

Wells Fargo spent more on lobbying Congress in the first quarter than any other commercial bank or investment firm.

The company spent $1.2 million on lobbying in Q1, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. That put it second to the American Bankers Association ($2.4 million) in the commercial banking category.

Wells Fargo was third when compared to securities and investment industry top lobbying spenders — just behind the Investment Company Institute ($1.4 million) and just ahead of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association ($1.2 million).

Wells Fargo's spending in the first quarter represents a fairly substantial increase from the $670,000 it allocated to lobbying in the first quarter of 2018, according to data from the Clerk of the House of Representatives.

A Wells spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.

The spending coincided with increasing pressure from Democratic lawmakers. Former Wells chief executive Tim Sloan was the sole witness at a March hearing of the House Financial Services Committee, where he fielded tough questions from Democrats about the firm's struggles to right itself following the 2016 revelation that bank employees created millions of accounts without customer consent.

A couple weeks after his appearance before lawmakers, Mr. Sloan stepped down.

Lobbying expenditures, 2018 Q1 versus 2019 Q1
Source: Center for Responsive Politics and Office of the House Clerk

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