A former Wells Fargo employee came out on online forum Reddit to expose the culture of the bank that this employee caused Wells Fargo’s most recent scandal.
For those unfamiliar, Reddit is heavily moderated and the former employee, referred to as FormerWF, provided their w-2 as part of the verification process.
What follows can be best described as HousingWire coverage of a whistleblowing event as it unfolds in real time; It's a whole new world.
As background, Wells Fargo recently agreed to pay $185 million after it was discovered that its employees opened over $2 million fake accounts without consumers’ permission in order to get sales bonuses.
Even the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau jumped in and levied the largest fine in its history, $100 million against Wells Fargo.
Now, the megabank will have to one of the most powerful committees on Capitol Hill, as Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf will testify before the Senate Banking Committee on September 20 about the bank’s actions.
This scandal led HousingWire Digital Reporter Brena Swanson to raise the question: Is Wells Fargo scandal just the beginning of big-bank bad-behavior probe?
Wells Fargo responded quickly to the scandal, or so it would seem. The bank announced it is totally revamping its compensation model for retail banking beginning January 1, 2017.
This revelation comes shortly after Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf said there were no incentives to do bad things in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
In fact, later in the article Stumpf stated: “I wish it would be zero, but if they’re not going to do the thing that we ask them to do, put customers first, honor our vision and values, I don’t want them here. I really don’t.”
So which is it? Did the Wells Fargo culture push employees to make these choices, or were they going against everything the bank stands for? Both answers can’t be right.
Either way, HousingWire Senior Financial Reporter Ben Lane said this new fake accounts fiasco just goes to prove that big banks didn’t learn from the last financial crisis.
While the bank responded quickly after the scandal became known to the public, the former Wells Fargo employee suggests that this is not a new problem.
In fact, the former employee said that many times employees were threatened with termination over bad numbers, and managers would turn a blind eye to missing client info.
The former employee goes on to describe many shocking practices. For example, take a look at this question and the former employee’s answer:
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So what happened to the employees who weren’t “performing”? According to this former employee, management had a solution for that as well.
“How many people did you see fired before they could quit for low sales numbers?” one user, biglimvbud, asked.
While the former employee’s answer showed that very few were actually fired for that, what actually happened was far worse.
“Very few,” the former employee answered. “Only two or three I can think of. SOP was to make people miserable, stay late to make calls, work most weekends, etc., to get them to leave on their own. This also prevents them from paying unemployment.”
“I did see people get canned for sales integrity issues, but it was those that were disliked, or they had other reasons to get rid of,” the former employee said. “The turnover was pretty high, and sales integrity issues were so common almost anyone could be fired at any given time.”
“There was a manager that liked dating bankers from other branches,” the former employee continued. “Three times that I know of they would break up, and the bankers would be fired for sales integrity issues a week later.”
And here is, perhaps, the worst one of all (pardon the language):
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Click here to see the full post, and countless other stories.
Also, here is the CFPB info page for those who think they were harmed by Wells Fargo.
Wells Fargo photo credit Jose Antonio Perez/Shutterstock