The financial institution abruptly closed both the business and personal accounts of Brandon Wexler over the Christmas holidays. Wexler is a longtime customer of the bank, having had personal accounts for over 25 years and business accounts for at least 14 years.
In a letter to the dealer, obtained by The Reload, Wells Fargo claims a review of the account deemed Wexler’s business “too risky.”
Wells Fargo performs ongoing reviews of its account relationships in connection with the banks responsibilities to manage risks and its banking operations. We recently reviewed your account relationship and as a result of this review we will be closing your above referenced account. The accounts are expected to close by February 9, 2023 or you may contact the bank to initiate closure at an earlier date. The bank’s decision to close your accounts is final. Please note the bank reserves the right to close the subject accounts sooner than February 9, 2023 if circumstances arise that warrant an earlier closing. Also be aware that some circumstances may delay the closure of your accounts to learn more refer below to what may delay account closure
A Wells Fargo representative gave a statement to The Reload and denied the bank closed Wexler’s accounts because of his industry.
Jennifer L. Langan, Head of communications for CSBB & Consumer Lending at Wells Fargo, disputed Wexler’s claim that the closures were due to his work as a gun dealer.
“Based on our analysis of the risk associated with this customer, we made a decision to close the accounts,” she told The Reload. “Our decision is not based on the industry.”
However, a second letter from Wells Fargo to Wexler indicates that isn’t a completely honest statement. The banking giant explicitly says the reason for yanking the business account is because their guidelines prohibit them from “lending to certain types of businesses.”
Wells Fargo performs ongoing reviews of account relationships in connection with the company’s responsibility to oversee and manage risk and its business operations. We have reviewed your relationship with Wells Fargo and have determined at this time to close your account, effective 12/23/22. As of the date of this letter you may no longer make purchases or take cash advances. The reason for this action is:
Banking guidelines excludes lending to certain types of businesses
The Wex Gunworks owner isn’t an unknown quantity in the industry or business in general. Wexler has been a go-to industry source for media over the years, including The New York Times, CNN and ABC. Given the longstanding relationship with Wells Fargo, Wexler feels certain this is a case of industry discrimination.
“I’ve been with them for 25 years,” he told The Reload. “I’m a professional fireman. I do everything the right way. It’s messed up.”
Wells Fargo has indicated in the past they intend to pull away from banking relationships with gun dealers and pro-second amendment organizations like the NRA.
Wexler says he is currently weighing his legal options.
“I don’t care about the money. It’s more about making a point here. The public really needs to know about this. It’s not right.”