Seattle will withdraw $3 billion from US bank over Dakota Pipeline

By Kelvin McDonald

The Seattle City Council in Washington State has voted 9-0 to pull US$3 billion of annual deposits from a major American bank financing the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Seattle Times is reporting the full Seattle City Council voted unanimously yesterday to sever ties with Wells Fargo over its Dakota Access Pipeline lending. The council will cease cycling $3 billion of annual banking through the financial institution when their existing contract ends at the close of 2018.  

Seattle is the first US city to make support for the pipeline a major reason for ending its banking relationship.

Wells Fargo is one of 17 financial institutions funding the pipeline and says its loans represent less than 5% of the total.

Tim Brown, a vice president at Wells Fargo, says the bank is “disappointed” by the council’s decision, but remains "ready to support the city with its financial services needs in the future."

Meanwhile, the US Army Corps of Engineers has announced it will grant the final easement necessary to allow the pipeline to be finished. This follows a January order by President Trump for the Army to expedite this process.