IN CASE YOU MISSED IT… Bloomberg: Florida’s Money Man Threatens to Cut Ties With Bank of America, Wells Fargo
|For Immediate Release: Friday, May 12, 2023
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…
Bloomberg: Florida’s Money Man Threatens to Cut Ties With Bank of America, Wells Fargo
Florida’s Money Man Threatens to Cut Ties With Bank of America, Wells Fargo
Anna Jean Kaiser
May 11, 2023
To read the full story, click HERE.
Jimmy Patronis has a message for banks holding $36 billion in Florida’s cash: Drop the corporate activism or get out.
The warning from the state’s chief financial officer comes after a new law was passed banning banks from holding public funds if they use social and political factors in lending decisions. Patronis said that Florida is willing to cut ties with some of the nation’s largest lenders, including Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co., that run afoul of the rules.
“If we lose some banking relationships because of the direction that our state is going in right now, it may be a banking relationship we needed to reconsider anyway,” Patronis said in an interview in Tallahassee, Florida.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has attacked investments based on environmental, social and governance criteria as part of a larger conservative agenda at the center of his prospective 2024 presidential bid. The Republican-controlled Senate approved a bill last month which bans state and local governments from using ESG benchmarks when selling debt or investing public money.
Florida has already begun withdrawing some $2 billion in state money from BlackRock Inc. and specifically called out Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink, one of Wall Street’s leading ESG advocates.
More potential targets may be in sight. Wells Fargo, which holds $6 billion in public funds from Florida, has made moves to end its relationships with the National Rifle Association and outlined emissions targets for its clients. Bank of America, which holds $2 billion of Florida’s coffers, has restricted its business with firearms makers.
Patronis said banks will have to reverse those policies to keep their accounts with Florida. He’s called the financial industry “woke,” accusing banks of “looking down on everyday Americans” and “cozying up” to the Chinese Communist Party.
About CFO Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).