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16 states call on Wells Fargo to curb discriminatory de-banking practices

Wednesday, Mar 6, 2024

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Senior Vice President of Corporate Engagement Jeremy Tedesco regarding a multi-state letter, led by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, which calls upon Wells Fargo to provide necessary transparency into policies that allow for discriminatory de-banking, as well as racial discrimination under the guise of so-called “diversity, equity, and inclusion” policies:

“Denying basic financial services to people based on their political or religious beliefs is un-American. Banks are using ‘reputational risk’ or similarly vague policies to deny service to discriminate against gun manufacturers, distributors, or sellers; fossil fuel producers; contractors for Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency; and private prisons and related services. This abuse of vague terms of service now extends to discrimination based on a client’s political or religious views. Wells Fargo and other large, government-backed banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, have closed the accounts of mainstream conservative and religious groups under the guise of ‘reputational risk’ policies or prohibitions on ‘hate’ or ‘intolerance.’ Banks should not discriminate against people because of their religious or political views. This is discrimination and creates a two-tiered society.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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ABOUT Jeremy Tedesco

Jeremy Tedesco serves as senior counsel and senior vice president of corporate engagement for Alliance Defending Freedom. In this role, Tedesco leads ADF’s efforts to combat corporate cancel culture and build a business ethic that respects free speech, religious freedom, and human dignity. Immediately preceding his current role, Tedesco served as senior vice president for communications, during which time he was a lead convener of the Philadelphia Statement, a movement dedicated to restoring free speech and civil discourse. Previously, Tedesco litigated First Amendment cases at the highest levels. He was part of the legal team that represented cake artist Jack Phillips in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission before the U.S. Supreme Court and argued Phillips’ case at the Colorado Court of Appeals. He was also the lead brief writer in two other U.S. Supreme Court wins, Reed v. Town of Gilbert and Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn. Tedesco has also argued six times before five different federal appellate courts and founded and directed the ADF Center for Conscience Initiatives, where he led efforts to protect individuals from government-coerced speech. Tedesco earned his Juris Doctor in 2004 from the Regent University School of Law.