San Francisco-based bank Wells Fargo has topped the list of 2012’s most charitable companies in the United States, beating out Walmart, who had previously held the title for the last seven years. The study, conducted annually by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, found that Wells Fargo increased their corporate charitable donations by 50 percent, bringing the bank’s total donations to a whopping $315.8 million in 2012. Walmart’s donations sank by 9 percent from 2011 and totaled at $311.6 million.
$77 million of donations made by Wells Fargo went to NeighborWorks America, a foundation that helps new homebuyers with their down payments, particularly in neighborhoods that were highly affected by the financial crisis and have seen high rates of home foreclosures.
The sum of the bank’s total donations used by the Chronicle of Philanthropy does not include the $6.6 million settlement the bank agreed to pay in federal civil charges, which accused Wells Fargo of not informing investors of the risks associated with their mortgages. The bank agreed to the settlement without admitting or denying wrongdoing.
Rounding out the top five most charitable companies of 2012 were Chevron Corp., with $262.4 million; Goldman Sachs Group, with $243.1 million, and Exxon Mobil Corp., with $213.4 million.