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Ohio To Suspend Business Relationship With Wells Fargo

| by Lauren Briggs
John Kasich speaking at 2016 CPACJohn Kasich speaking at 2016 CPAC

Ohio will join the growing list of states that have stopped working with Wells Fargo, after the state's Republican Gov. John Kasich announced on Oct. 14 that he has suspended the bank from conducting business on the state level.

Kasich is the first Republican state leader to formally suspend business relations with Wells Fargo, following allegations that the bank's employees fraudulently opened nearly two million customer accounts in order to improve sales, reports the Associated Press.

"While Wells Fargo only does limited retail banking in Ohio, it does regularly seek state bond business so I have instructed my administration to seek services from other banks instead," Kasich said in a statement. "This company has lost the right to do business with the state of Ohio because its actions have cost it the public's confidence."

The bank is banned from contracting any financial services with state agencies and from partaking in any upcoming bonds offered by Ohio. Kasich also said that he will work to ban Wells Fargo from any bond offerings made by the Ohio Public Commission, where Kasich has one vote on the six-member board.

Kasich's ban will be in effect for one year, though he can opt to extend it if Wells Fargo continues to struggle with its reputation and transparency.

"Wells Fargo cheated customers and until it lays out concrete steps to make things right, it doesn't deserve the state of Ohio's business," said Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who serves as the senior Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee.

Ohio joins California, Illinois and Seattle in banning the bank from doing business. California State Treasurer John Chiang sanctioned Wells Fargo and said that the bans will remain in place, even after CEO John Stumpf stepped down from his position on Oct. 12, notes CNBC.

"If we're going to have more of the same, that's not acceptable," said Chiang. "We are beyond the point of tweaking. We want to see fundamental reform of Wells Fargo before we make a decision."

​Sources: Associated Press via ABC News, CNBC / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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