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10/5/18 – BNN Bloomberg – Unswayed by Nuns, Wells Fargo Hands Gunmaker New Line of Credit

(Bloomberg) — Wells Fargo & Co. is doubling down on the gun industry, undaunted by criticism of its deep ties to firearm companies and the National Rifle Association.

The San Francisco-based bank last week issued a $40 million line of credit to gun manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Co., according to financial filings. That’s on top of the $431 million in debt that Wells Fargo has arranged for gunmakers since December 2012, when the Sandy Hook school shooting escalated the gun control debate. No other bank lent more to the industry over that time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The new debt, issued to one of the world’s largest publicly traded gunmakers, came as a big surprise to at least one group: nuns who had been talking to Wells Fargo about corporate-responsibility issues. On Sept. 26, the day before the debt agreement was issued, they had met with the bank’s business-standards employees in New York.

“This is shocking news because we are in sustained dialogue with Wells Fargo,” said Nora Nash, a sister at St. Francis of Philadelphia who was at the meeting as a member of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. “This new business relationship with Sturm Ruger is in direct conflict with ethics, culture and respect for human rights throughout the company.”  Read more

10/5/18 – San Francisco Cronicle – Wells Fargo makes another big gun loan

Wells Fargo is expanding its commitment to the gun industry, undaunted by criticism of its deep ties to firearm companies and the National Rifle Association. Read more

7/6/18 – Philadelphia Inquirer – When Sister Nora talks, her voice is soft, but executives listen

Philadelphia Inquirer: From Disney to Chevron, from Hasbro to Wells Fargo, publicly traded companies in many industries have been touched by the influence of a Franciscan nun.

Sister Nora Nash, director of corporate social responsibility for the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, based in Aston, is a shareholder activist who spends her days lobbying executives of some of the nation’s most powerful companies. “In working with corporate social responsibility, we have an opportunity to ask all those who have a better lifestyle to remember that it’s important to support people of all dimensions,” Nash said. “People whose lives have been impacted by poverty, by climate change, and by both inequality and inequity.”  Read more

5/28/18 – Philadelphia Business Journal – Why is Wells Fargo afraid of this nun?

Sister Nora Nash is part of a collection of disruptors shaking up the banking and finance industry in Greater Philadelphia

Whether advocating for cleaner drinking water, keeping families in their homes, improving working conditions or seeking more transparency from management, you will not find a less likely, or more effective, change agent in corporate America than Sister Nora Nash.

As director of corporate responsibility for the Sisters of St. Francis, an order of about 400 Roman Catholic nuns in Delaware County, Pa., she spends much of her time coaxing conglomerates to behave in a more ethical manner. Read more

5/9/18 – NY Times – Sturm Ruger Shareholders Adopt Measure Backed by Gun Control Activists

Sturm Ruger, one of the country’s largest firearms makers, had urged shareholders for weeks to reject a proposal from a group of Roman Catholic nuns demanding more transparency from the company on whether it planned to develop safer products and monitor the ones already in circulation.

But when the votes were counted at the company’s annual meeting on Wednesday, a majority of investors sided with the nuns.

Ruger, which makes a variety of weapons, including a style of rifle often used in mass shootings, must now produce a report by February on how it tracks violence associated with its firearms, what kind of research it is conducting related to so-called smart gun technology and its assessment of the risks that gun-related crimes pose to the company’s reputation and finances. Read more

The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia are among the co-filers of a resolution on GUN Violence at Sturm Ruger. We received a major win with a majority vote today at the meeting in Texas.  Click here to read the resolution.

Click here for the official press release from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsiblity

4/25/18 –CNBC–Trinity Health and Other Investors Caution Smokefree Disney on Purchase of “Tobacco-Contaminated” Fox Movies

Investors have made public a letter sent to Disney CEO Robert Iger before the company’s March 2018 annual meeting in Houston pressing Disney to protect young audiences from exposure to on-screen tobacco when it acquires Fox’s large film library. Fund managers note that future marketing of these films may be affected by the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, a global health treatyratified by 181 parties.

In their letter to Mr. Iger, forty-six religious and secular investors organized by Trinity Health and Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia congratulate The Disney Company for its “good faith” in honoring its own tobacco depictions policy. But they warn, “…amid the myriad details involved in a corporate acquisition of this size and complexity, Disney cannot afford to leave young people’s health and lives unprotected.”   Read more

4/25/18 –The NY Times–There’s No Smoking in Disney Films. What About When It Owns Fox?

Add cigarettes to the list of things that the family-friendly Walt Disney Company has to figure out as it prepares to integrate the sharper-edged 20th Century Fox movie and television studio. Now antismoking advocates want Mr. Iger to extend that rule to all future youth-rated films (G, PG, PG-13) made by Fox and its Fox Searchlight specialty label, which are among the assets that Disney is buying from Rupert Murdoch for $54.2 billion.   Tom McCaney, associate director of corporate social responsibility for Sisters of St. Francis, an activist order helping to lead the antismoking effort, said that Disney’s response to the letter was unsatisfactory. “Disney told us it wasn’t appropriate to discuss until the Fox deal goes through,” Mr. McCaney said. “We disagree.”  Read more

4/22/18 –Des Moines Register–Wells Fargo faces shareholders in Des Moines in wake of record $1 billion penalty

Rocked over the past two years with revelations of customer fraud and abuse, Wells Fargo has been working to restore trust — with customers, shareholders, employees and, possibly most importantly, regulators.

Last week, as federal regulators slapped Wells Fargo with a record $1 billion fine, CEO Tim Sloan told investors the bank has more work to do.

“It will take time to put all our challenges behind us,” Sloan said. “But our board and company have made significant progress.”  Nora Nash, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia and part of a Wells Fargo stakeholder advisory board, said bank leaders can go a long way to re-establishing her order’s trust with a “transparent and honest report” on its reforms at Tuesday’s meeting.  Read more

Wells Fargo Call to Action!!!
3/26/18 –BusinessEthics.com In Search of Corporate Values: Wells Fargo Agrees to Listen to Stakeholders

Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier recently said in an interview, “There are lots of examples of companies that have lost their souls, which is a funny word to use, but companies do have souls.”

Consider the implications when leaders believe their company has a soul; how that impacts their wanting to be more vigilant against causing harm or ethical meltdowns. When leaders see their company as an organization of stakeholders that bring life to a corporate structure, it isn’t enough to just correct ethical failings. The culture also needs to be healed: a touch-and-go process when its immune system has been shut down. Read more

3/6/18 – ICCR – Wells Fargo agrees to investor demands for report detailing root causes of ethical lapses. READ
The attached letter sent to the company on January 31st adds strength and clarity to our resolution and December 14th dialogue. The company’s response to the letter will also determine what we will do about the resolution. Click here
The withdrawal letter of February 26th is in response to a letter of commitment by Wells Fargo. Click here

3/8/18 – Fed up nuns made Wells Fargo write a paper on how it failed to prevent its scandals

The Charlotte Observer –  It’s not your typical homework assignment: A group of nuns upset about the spate of scandals at Wells Fargo just got the bank to agree to write up how it failed to prevent the problems.

This week, the nuns and other Wells Fargo investors announced the bank had bowed to their demands for the report, whose findings are expected to detail the root causes of the scandals, including at the board level.

“We are encouraged that they are finally agreeing to take this first step towards what we hope will be authentic reform,” Sister Nora Nash, of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, said in a statement.  Read more

Other related articles:

3/6/18 – Catholic nuns push Wells Fargo to identify ‘root causes’ of scandals

Financial Times –  Roman Catholic nuns have pushed Wells Fargo to publish a report on what caused the scandals that have rocked the US bank after they raised concerns about its ethics with Tim Sloan, chief executive. Sister Nora Nash with the Sisters of St Francis of Philadelphia, who led the initiative, said on Tuesday that it had been a “little bit of a struggle” to persuade the bank to conduct the review but she was “most grateful” it had now agreed. Wells, the third-biggest US bank by assets, said on Tuesday that it would publish a standards report that would identify the “systemic cultural and ethical root causes of recent scandals”.  Read more

3/6/18 -Wells Fargo Pushed by Nuns to Report on Its Ethical Lapses

www.bloomberg.com –  Wells Fargo & Co. agreed to publicly report on the root causes that led to a rash of ethical lapses in recent years, a group of investors said.  The group, led by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and including about 20 religious organizations as well as state officials from Rhode Island and Connecticut, said Tuesday they would withdraw a shareholder proposal on the issue following the bank’s decision. They had sought to put it to a vote at the lender’s annual meeting in April.  Read more

The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia have been actively working with corporations who are prominent in the gun industry. We have filed resolutions with Dick’s Sporting Goods, American Outdoor Brands and Sturm Ruger and Co. Dick’s Sporting Goods has taken a positive action and the other two resolutions await the company’s annual meetings.

Read the statement here.

3/14/18 –Water’s Promise: Making Every Drop Count

WorldBank – Today, 40% of the world’s people are affected by water scarcity.  To change the future of water, we must rethink how to understand, value and manage water as a precious resource. Join global leaders on the High Level Panel on Water to commit #iValueWater! Turn it off, turn it on, and turn it up!   More information: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org…

2/14/18 – Shareholder Resolutions On Opioid Risks Scheduled For Vote At Amerisource Bergen

ValueWalk–  Proposal No. 8, The Board Report Proposal, requesting a report on how the board is addressing opioid-related business risks submitted by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, Trinity Health, JLens Investors Network and Missionary Oblates OIP Investment Trust. Read

01/17/18–Activists Hail SEC Ruling On Opioid “Accountability” at AmerisourceBergen Corp

ValueWalk– The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCC) on AmerisourceBergen Corp (NYSE:ABC), Opioids and a recent SEC ruling.

The staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) Division of Corporation Finance in decisions dated January 11, 2018 denied efforts by pharmaceutical distributor AmerisourceBergen (ABC) to block shareholders from voting on two proposals.  The first proposal asks for greater transparency on measures the company has adopted to manage financial and reputational risks associated with the U.S. opioid epidemic. The second proposal asks for annual disclosure of whether the board clawbacked or recouped incentive compensation from any senior executive due to misconduct.  Read more.

11/17/17 – Investors to Congress: Bipartisan Dream Act is Both a Business and Moral Imperative

ICCR – A group of 112 institutional investors representing hundreds of billions of dollars in assets and led by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)–including the Sisters of St. Francis–announced that they have sent a letter to Congress requesting immediate action on the Dream Act of 2017 (H.R. 3440, S.1615), a “clean”, bi-partisan bill unfettered by other amendments, that protects the immigration status of recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  Read More

10/25/17 – Corporate Secretary:  Nuns battle online-only AGMs

Sisters of St Francis of Philadelphia file resolutions with ConocoPhillips and Comcast

The Sisters of St Francis of Philadelphia, known for their work with the poor and elderly and giving a voice to those who usually go unheard, are taking their work to Wall Street by campaigning against online-only shareholder meetings.

The order of more than 400 Catholic nuns have filed resolutions with ConocoPhillips, the oil group, and Comcast, the telecoms company, over their decisions to abandon physical AGMs for shareholders, Corporate Secretary sister publication IR Magazine reports.

The nuns want businesses to reintroduce face-to-face meetings with direct access to boards alongside virtual events.

The ConocoPhillips resolution has been co-filed by the Church of the Brethren Benefit Trust, which oversees the retirement income of pastors and members of the Brethren community, and the Needmor Fund, a social justice organization.  Read more

10/20/17: Financial Times – Nuns tell companies to get real over virtual AGMs

US religious order joins good fight against trend towards online-only annual meetings.  Read here

9/21/17 – URGENT: There’s a new Obamacare repeal bill in the senate. (Yes, AGAIN!) Call your senators at (202) 224-3121 and tell them to save our healthcare.

The Senate-Cassidy Graham Bill

There would be NO guarantee of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Each state that accepts federal block grant funding could waive the ACA’s rules for covering the 10 essential health benefits and other consumer protections. Insurers could take health status into account and raise rates for people with pre-existing conditions. (Note: Pennsylvania already has not been able to pay Medicare $1.2 billion.)

This Jimmy Kimmel YouTube video gives clarity to what is happening:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOlibbx5sx0&feature=youtu.be

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/20/us/politics/insurers-oppose-obamacare-repeal.html?emc=eta1

Call your senators today!

8/30/17 -Stop depicting tobacco in youth-rated films

This is a pretty big deal: major public health organizations, including the American Cancer Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics, have sent a letter to the major studios demanding that they stop depicting tobacco in youth-rate films by June 1, 2018. We’re not signers on this letter, but we have worked and continue to work with all the studios on this issue. We’re not signers but we work with all the studios.  Click here to read the letter.
Click here for the press information from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

8/15/17 -Letter to Merck CEO Ken Frazier

Attached is a sign-on letter to Merck CEO Ken Frazier congratulating him on demonstrating that principles matter by resigning from the White House’s business development council after trump’s tepid response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.  The Sisters of St. Francis were not only a sign-on, but the letter was authored by the Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment, of which we are members.  Read more

7/10/17 – Public Hearing: Oil and Gas New Source Performance Standards.

On Monday, July 10, 2017, Sister Nora M. Nash, OSF along with five other members (Pictured from left to right: Joy Bergey, Chestnut Hill United; Rabbi Daniel Schwartz; Rev. Alison Cornish; Nora Nash, OSF; Rev. Doug Hunt; Mary Elizabeth Clark, SSJ of PA Interfaith Power & Light) traveled to the Washington, DC headquarters of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). They were there for the hearing on the proposed two-year stay of certain aspects of the Oil and Gas New Source Performance Standards, and the accompanying proposed three-month stay. Each registrant was given five minutes to speak.

The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia have been working with oil and gas companies for over 10 years to further reduce the impacts of the industry on the environment, on health and community rights. The future increases in methane will create a significant impact on all aspects of life.

The attached statement was read by Sister Nora and for the record two copies were left with the EPA.

6/23/17 -Dollar Tree says it’s protecting consumers from toxic chemicals. Group wants proof. -A group of consumer advocates and a Catholic nun well known for encouraging corporations to behave want the Chesapeake-based retailer to prove it, especially as it relates to keeping harmful phthalate chemicals – often used to make plastics soft – lead, BPAs and other toxic materials out of children’s toys and products.  “We’re not getting any data that tells us they’re doing any work,” said Sister Nora Nash with the Sisters of St. Francis in Philadelphia.  Read more.

6/12/17 –  Pipeline Awareness Forum:  Protect Penn-Delco presents a pipeline awareness forum.  Join them for a panel presentation with speakers including state representative Leanne Krueger-Braneky, as well as representatives from Sierra Club and Middletown Coalition for Community Safety.    Thursday, June 15, 2017; 6 P.M.; Northley Middle School, 2801 Concord Road, Aston, PA 19014;  Click here for more information.

5/31/17 – ExxonMobil shareholders vote ‘yes’ on climate-change analysis, including Vanguard:

When ExxonMobil Corp. shareholders voted for a historic climate-change resolution Wednesday, mutual-fund giant Vanguard and small investors such as Sister Nora Nash were among them.

ExxonMobil’s board recommended voting against the resolution, proposed by Sister Nora and  like-minded faith-based investors. Yet it passed, with 62 percent of shareholders voting “yes” on the call for a “2-degree scenario” analysis, which, as 195 countries have agreed to under the 2016 Paris Agreement, seeks to prevent the Earth from heating up by more than 2 degrees Celsius since the start of the industrial age. (So far, it’s up about 1.1 degrees Celsius.) Read more

6/1/ 17 – PhillyMag.com – Vanguard, Philly Nun Press ExxonMobil to Adopt New Climate Change Practice Read more

4/27/17 – Sr. Nora Nash shares what happened inside the AGM with Wells Fargo.  Read more


4/24/17 – BankThink Wells Fargo Investors Should Apply Pressure to Repair the Damage

We will be in Jacksonville, Fla., at the Wells Fargo annual meeting on Tuesday to present our resolution to fellow shareholders requesting a “Review and Report on the Business Standards,” including a full accounting of the systemic failures that allowed the bank’s unethical practices to flourish.

While many shareholders are by now largely immune to the transgressions of the U.S. banking sector, Wells Fargo’s recent phony account scandal has given even the most hardened cynics pause, likely due to the incredible breadth of the bank’s fraud. But it is important to note the historical context here as Wells Fargo has repeatedly had to settle with federal regulators over how it has treated customers. This indicates to us a more persistent and systemic problem with the company’s culture.  Read more


3/28/17 – The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia are the lead filer with 16 other investors plus several dozen investors are calling on Wells Fargo Bank to do a review and report on the scandal enveloping the Bank and steps to put new checks and balances in place.

As part of a long-term dialogue with the company, and in the context of the fraudulent cross-selling scandal, the resolution asks the Board of Directors of Wells Fargo Company for enhanced disclosure on the steps taken to improve culture, ethics, reputation, aligning incentives with customers’ best interests, risk management, governance and control processes in order to rebuild trust and give assurance to shareholders that risks contributing to the present scandal are now well understood and will be properly managed to prevent future crises. Read more


03/16/17 – The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia are disappointed that the Wells Fargo Board recommended a vote against our resolution requesting a Business Standards Review. ICCR Investors are seeking extensive information that will set the course for real systemic change in culture, ethics, values, and financial sustainability. Wells Fargo has already begun to address the issues that the proposal delineated and the company response is in agreement with our proposal in other than the actual vote itself. We believe that we will get a strong YES vote from shareholders. As faith-based investors, we will continue to hold the company accountable and responsible to customers, employees, and communities. We will continue to press for on-going risk assessments, monitoring, and further disclosure of unethical practices.

NY Times: Wells Fargo Leaders Reaped Lavish Pay Even as Account Scandal Unfolded Read more

The L.A. Times published a good article about it: Read more

Fortune.com:  Read more

Pensions and Investments: Read more

12/29/16 – Wells Fargo Locks Horns With Some Shareholders Over Proxy Proposals:  Read more


12/10/16 – Update on Resolution- Where Wells Fargo Goes From Here – Business Ethics Read more.


10/10/16– Shareholders Challenge Wells Fargo.   Read more

Article:  Religious investors lose faith in Wells Fargo after scandal | Reuters 

Article:  Religious activist investors push Wells Fargo over fake accounts scandal – Philadelphia Business Journal

Transparency Requirements on Trafficking

The members of ICCR are hopeful that a new bill on trafficking will get increased support in the new congress. We believe there is a greater chance of moving the bill forward if a Senate Republican is a lead sponsor. Thus, this letter to Senator Rob Portman, Republican senator of Ohio. As cosigners, the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia are showing our support for transparency requirements on trafficking and slavery in global supply chains. Read more