Wells Fargo announced the issuance of its inaugural sustainability bond, with a $1 billion offering aimed at funding projects and programs that support housing affordability, socioeconomic opportunity, and renewable energy.
Bill Daley, Vice Chairman of Public Affairs at Wells Fargo, said:
“Wells Fargo’s first Sustainability Bond is intentionally designed to support job creation and human and health services in minority communities, housing affordability for low-to-moderate income individuals and families, and the development of renewable energy resources. The focus on capital investment in moderate- and low-income, predominantly minority areas, and our partnership with diverse firms in the offering of this Sustainability Bond underscores Wells Fargo’s commitment to supporting historically marginalized communities, which have been some of the hardest hit by COVID-19 and the impacts of climate change.”
Wells Fargo stated that 75% of the underwriting fees from the transaction will go to diverse broker dealers whose owners are from underrepresented groups. Wells Fargo Securities, LLC served as bookrunner for the issuance, joined by five broker dealers whose owners include people of color, women, and service-disabled veterans – Academy Securities, Inc., CastleOak Securities, L.P., Penserra Securities LLC, Samuel A. Ramirez & Company, Inc., and Siebert Williams Shank & Co., LLC.
Chris Williams, Chairman of Siebert Williams Shank & Co., LLC., said:
“Wells Fargo’s decision to mandate diverse firms as joint bookrunners with full participation in the investor book building and allocation process is a first among U.S. money center banks and underscores Wells Fargo’s commitment to social inclusion for all dimensions of this financing.”
The Inclusive Communities and Climate Bond was issued under Wells Fargo’s Sustainability Bond Framework. The bank aims to use proceeds from the offering to fund projects outlined under the framework’s list of eligible categories, including increasing the quantity, quality, and overall affordability of multifamily housing properties for low- to moderate-income (LMI) populations, improving employment opportunities, education and healthcare outcomes, and community development in LMI areas, and increasing global renewable energy generation capacity, through investments in large-scale wind, solar and geothermal projects, and related equipment manufacturing.
Today’s announcement follows the recent launch by Wells Fargo of a series of ESG and sustainable finance initiatives, including a goal to facilitate the deployment of $500 billion of financing to sustainable businesses and projects by 2030.
Wells Fargo Corporate Treasurer Neal Blinde, said:
“This transaction represents an important next step in delivering on Wells Fargo’s commitment to expand our sustainable finance capabilities in support of an inclusive economic recovery and an equitable transition to a low-carbon future. Wells Fargo is pleased to be able to contribute to the strong momentum we’re seeing in the sustainability bond market, and help meet the growing demand for investment opportunities that deliver positive social and environmental outcomes.”