Ex-Wells Fargo Employee Was (Allegedly) Told: "Go and shake your skirt to the farm workers in the corner so we can get some accounts"

Just another day at Wells Fargo.
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By Captain-tucker (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

via Wikimedia Commons

Last month, we learned that in addition to pressuring employees to open millions of fake accounts in customers' names, Wells Fargo also had an unofficial program in place wherein the bank would come up with the shadiest possible ways to can people who spoke up about unethical sales practices. Sayeth one former human resources manager: "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." According to Reuters, at least five former employees filed suits or complaints with regulators between 2010 and 2014, alleging that they were fired for blowing the whistle, raising the whole "What did Wells know about these fake accounts and when did they know it and did they take the complaints seriously or try to cover them up and screw over the whistleblowers" angle.

Two of those former employees were personal bankers Judi Klosek and Yesenia Guitron, who filed a joint lawsuit in 2010, in which Klosek alleged the bank very classily "gave away her position while she was on disability to receive treatment for breast cancer," while Guitron claimed her managers responded to claims she witnessed unethical behavior by "falsifying a paper trail that purported to document her poor performance, forbidding her from taking family medical leave and firing her improperly." Also, this:

Guitron was told on numerous occasions by “Branch management” to unbutton her shirt to get more sales. One day Pam Rubio, the branch manager, sent her a text message requesting permission to open a package that Guitron had received from a customer, “an admirer,” and asking who it was from. Isook Park, the branch service manager, made comments to Guitron, including, “Call your boyfriends and have them all open accounts.” She asked Guitron questions about whom she was dating and whom she would bring to Christmas parties or bank events. On one occasion, Chris Jensen, another service manager, told Guitron, “Go and shake your skirt to the farm workers in the corner so we can get some accounts.” Guitron refused to engage in these practices and was offended by them. Prior to the time that Guitron began to work at the St. Helena branch, Liz Mendez, who worked there as a Personal Banker from December 2000 through January 2007, was told about once a week by Rubio, “Maybe if you unbutton that top button you’ll get more accounts.”

Marcela Franco, who was employed by Wells Fargo from November 2001 through January 2007, again, before Guitron began working there, heard Rubio make similar comments to other employees on multiple occasions. Matt Taylor, a single father who worked at the St. Helena branch as a financial consultant, was never encouraged to use his physical assets to achieve more sales.

While a judge dismissed Guitron's claims, saying the bank "was justified for firing her because she failed to meet sales quotas and refused to meet with management," she told Reuters "she feels vindicated by the sanctions" her former employer has been forced to pay since all this sh*t has come to light.

Wells Fargo workers say they were fired for reporting "gaming" of sales quotas [Reuters]
Wells Fargo whistleblower says she flagged fraud years ago [CBS News]

Related: Things Definitely Not Getting Better For Wells Fargo

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Dick Bové: Wells Fargo Is Managed Great If You Don't Take Into Account The Horrible Customer Service I've Received On Several Occasions, For Which Heads Should Roll

Picture this. You're world-renonwn bank analyst Dick Bové, famous for, among other things, issuing a report in summer 2008 about which banks were "next" to fail, not rolling over and taking it when Citigroup tried to screw you good, and standing by Ken Lewis when literally no one else (including his board) would. When you walk into rooms, people notice. More often than not, they ask you to pose for pictures, kiss their babies, sign their tits. Some have fainted in your presence. You're the fifth Beatle, Justin Bieber, and George Clooney, all wrapped into one devastating little package.  It should go without saying that an appearance by you at your local branch bank, to cash six-figure checks, as you often do, would be call for a red carpet and the crème de la crème of customer service, right? Apparently wrong. The following is an accounting of Dick Bové's experiences as Wells Fargo customer. (Originally he banked with Wachovia, who he had only good things to say about. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the degenerates he's encountered at WFC.) * "Dick Kovacevich, Wells retired CEO, felt strongly that customers should be greeted when they entered the branch and that the visit should be a positive experience. I can honestly state that no one ever greeted me when I entered my local branch. In fact, on one occassion, when I needed to speak with a platform person, I never got the opportunity. The bank officer made me wait a bit; came out of his office and entered the public bathroom; and left the bank." * "On a second occasion, I entered the branch with a low six figure check. I needed some information concerning more than one issue related to the deposit. After searching out an employee, I was told that he could not handle the transactions...It is interesting to note that no one at the branch suggested any investment to me but simply deposited the check. No one ever called me to indicate that there was over six figures sitting in a no interest checking account." * "What my Wells Fargo experience suggests is that a successful bank is one that keeps seeking new customers and selling them more products and not getting bogged down by offering service...My interaction with Wells has been an enlightening experience." Does Dick Bové "rate banks based on one person's anecdotal experience"? No, at this time he does not. If he did though, a bank--if you can call it that-- named Wells Fargo would be up shit's creek right about now. Because in the scenario in which DB did assign ratings based on his own interactions with management, WFC would have a giant red "U" across its chest, for "unacceptable" and caution tape around its buildings which would in turn be condemned and schedule for demolition at 9AM.