Wells Fargo pledges $1B for affordable housing

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Wells Fargo announced Wednesday it was pledging $1 billion through 2025 toward affordable housing initiatives as part of the embattled lender’s goal to dedicate 2 percent of its after-tax profits to philanthropy.

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The company said the money will be geared toward building more affordable housing and to address homelessness in the next six years. The donation is also part of Wells Fargo’s broader plan to address three critical issues, including financial health and small business growth.

“Wells Fargo is focused on creating a path to stability and financial success for individuals and families that lack access to affordable housing, tools to manage financial health and capital for small business growth,” interim CEO Allen Parker said in a news release. “Together, we can help spark systemic change and economic development for underserved communities. When people start businesses, build wealth and are able to afford homes in their neighborhood, communities thrive.”

Wells Fargo is donating $1 billion in philanthropy toward housing affordability to underserved communities. (AP)

Wells Fargo also announced Wednesday that Brandee McHale will replace Jon Campbell as the head of the Wells Fargo Foundation. Campbell revealed in December that he planned to retire by the end of this year.

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The lender donated $444 million to upwards of 11,000 nonprofits focused on helping communities with economic and social needs. Wells Fargo also plans to help local communities through educational programs and disaster relief.

The San Francisco-based company has faced a series of scandals in the past few years following a 2016 revelation that employees created millions of fraudulent customer accounts. Wells Fargo has since dealt with federal settlements amounting to billions of dollars and congressional hearings.

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The embattled lender is also in the midst of a quest to find a new leader after former CEO Tim Sloan was forced out amid criticism from lawmakers that he was not doing enough to turn around the company. A Wells Fargo spokesman had no update to provide on the lender's search for a new CEO.

Fox Business’ Joe Williams contributed to this report.