Wells Fargo is in the news because their excessive sales pressure lead bankers to open over 2 million fraudulent accounts. They have fired over 5300 employees for opening these accounts and have been fined a measly (in comparison to their revenue)
Chip used to work for Wells Fargo and had the same job as many of these fired employees. He was NOT fired from Wells Fargo AND DID NOT open any accounts that were not consented to by the employees. He was a teller, personal banker and CSSR during his time at Wells Fargo.
Cern said Chip was always hating his job at Wells Fargo because of the excessive sales pressure and because Chip would always preform at the minimum in order to hit his goals and get the bonus.
Chip took the personal banker to heart and actually acted in the personal interest of the customers. He had all his friends and family ready to sign up accounts because of the service he provided.
Wells Fargo had tiers of performance, Bronze, Silver and Gold. For example your goal for “keeping your job” as Wells Fargo mangers put it would be 6 solutions. Bronze would be 7, Silver 8 and Gold 10 solutions. A solution was Wells Fargo speak for a product. A checking account was one solution, a debit card was another, a credit card was a 3rd. So the average number of productions a person would have would be about 5-7. Checking and savings account, online banking, debit card and maybe a credit card. Some customers would have their mortgage and/or a line of credit which is where you would see some people with 7 products.
Cern brings up a good point that if you are younger and looking for a career path you would be hard pressed to find anyone who would actually recommend doing sales. Extremely high pressure and a real “what have you done for me lately" type of attitude.
John Stumpf was put to task by Senator Elizabeth Warren. That video and link is here.
According to Chip when a customer would come to your desk the manager would put extreme pressure to take advantage of that customer to maximize the amount of products/solutions that you get. Sometimes that would even go as far as the manager standing over your shoulder while you were talking with the customer or setting up the account. Wells Fargo goal was always constantly increase the amount of products a customer has. Cross selling was the term that they used.
You don’t want to have a job where when you wake up you are thinking how bad your life is because you have to go to work. Wells Fargo’s sales pressure made Chip really dislike the job.
At Chip’s branch there would be some people were so over the top with the shady practices. Chip would know certain customers were unable to really manage one checking account let alone much else and if they went to another banker they would open them "secondary accounts to help them manage their money better,” which was complete bull shit and within a month or two that account would be closed because of overdrafts or lack of funds in the account.
Lots of these accounts wasn’t the right thing by the customer and Chip never really could go against that. Many times when Chip would open just a checking account the manger would come over after the customer had left and ask why there wasn’t a savings account setup. Chip would explain that they didn’t want one or whatever the reason and the manager would tell him he needed to call the customer back and get that savings account. They didn’t care if he had to stay overtime at work or stay until 7pm to get the account or hit his daily numbers.
Cern tells a story of when Tony and him came down for Chip’s birthday and they saved up for a bottle of Dom Perignon and Wild Turkey. They beat Chip home and when he got to the door he just said “rough day” because he had to stay an extra hour or more at work trying to get the numbers. Chip was so bummed out that on his birthday he was forced to stay longer.
Internally at Wells Fargo they kept preaching “customer first, do what is right by the customer” all Wells Fargo employees knew this was complete bull shit because the managers would be spitting fire on you if you didn’t get your number of accounts no matter what the customer’s situation was. Wells Fargo always said the more products the better the customer was.
Trying to get customers to refinance their auto loan when Wells Fargo’s rates were 5 basis points higher was a common thing managers would try to have you do.
Stumpf, the Wells Fargo CEO, was put to task said the 5300 employees were lone actors acting on their own accord, not from the sales pressure.
The constant script was to get your numbers no matter what. If you were short one day the mangers would threaten to make you stay and cold call until you got your numbers.
The thing about Wells Fargo, that Chip noticed as an ex employee there, was that the people that did the most unethical, shady practices were PROMOTED.
Chip recalls a story on when he had to call HR because of some extremely “shady shit” was happening. Chip saw a banker lean over the desk, with no customer in sight, and sign the pin pad which is what you did when you would open a new account. This same banker even set up a person’s PIN with no customer in sight. Two weeks later after this call, nothing has happened and that employee was actually promoted.
According to CNNMoney "
One former Wells Fargo human resources official even said the bank had a method in place to retaliate against tipsters. He said that Wells Fargo would find ways to fire employees “in retaliation for shining light” on sales issues. It could be as simple as monitoring the employee to find a fault, like showing up a few minutes late on several occasions.
“If this person was supposed to be at the branch at 8:30 a.m. and they showed up at 8:32 a.m, they would fire them,” the former human resources official told CNNMoney, on the condition he remain anonymous out of fear for his career.
According to this article some employees even emailed the CEO to make him privy to the illegal tactics that was happing inside of these branches.
During the time when Stumpf was CEO he made $200 million when this “scam”was going on. Chip highly recommends watching Elizabeth Warren lay into the CEO. She made the great point that if a teller grabbed some $20’s when he was employed he would be fired and in jail. Stumpf stole $200 MILLION and nothing negative has happened.
Congress needs to make an example of Stumpf for this because a vast majority of white collar executive crimes go unpunished. Cern does think that it would cause a short term improvement with the banking industry.
Chip was very excited when he got to put his notice in to quit. He wanted to spend money to get a marching band to march through shouting “I QUIT, I QUIT."
Less than a week after Chip quit he closed all his Wells Fargo accounts because he knew all the inside dirt. All Wells Fargo employees did the same thing.
Chip said he would rather work retail during holidays slinging iPhone than selling checking accounts at Wells Fargo.
How is Wells Fargo going to repay these illegal accounts? How do you put a number on it? Your credit score is lower, you have a tarnished record and even worse you lost your job.
Literally everyday new articles are coming out about new issues with Wells Fargo. There is now a class action law suit for 2.9 BILLION against Wells Fargo.
Cern and Tony would be down in San Francisco almost every week so he would see how bummed out Chip was all the time and stressed. Chip was drinking more often, over eating and generally had a lower quality of life.
Chip is at a job now where he is happy to show up everyday. He likes the people he works with, for and is happy to be working there. Yes there is still stressful times, but it is such a better environment.
Chip thinks that the fine against Wells Fargo wasn’t enough. The fine needs to hurt Wells Fargo. 100% of the reports that are coming out have rang true to Chip, every single one. People who broke the rules were promoted or moved to a different branch, never in 5 years did Chip see anyone who broke the rules get fired. Chip has seen some shady ass shit in his days at Wells Fargo.
If you are going to subpoena Chip please give a shout out to Chip and Cern Show cause we could really use the plug. If you have any questions for Chip or Cern email firstname.lastname@example.org
The branch managers, as Chip confirms, were mostly aware of everything that was going on. The district managers were more than likely aware of the activities.
This was a therapy session for Chip about his Wells Fargo days. It was good that Chip now knows what a real miserable job is like. Cern closed all his Wells Fargo accounts when Chip left because he was his banker.
Jump into January was a massive deal for Wells Fargo. They would force you to have 10 members of your friends and family open new accounts every year. There are too many stories to get into and it would take 2 hours to tell them all.
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