Damning animated videos might doom Wells Fargo

This will come back to bite Wells Fargo:

A series of cutting animated videos blasting Wells Fargo’s sales incentives are getting a new life online in the wake of the bank settling federal regulatory probes that found its employees created more than 2 million bogus accounts — slamming customers with $2.6 million in fees — in order to meet branch quotas.

Stumpf, after the settlement, blamed the problem on employees and said there was no incentive to do wrong. But the series of at least 12 videos, most posted in 2011, when regulators said the account scam started, seem to put the lie to Stumpf’s comments.

Branch manager, district managers and their bosses were clearly aware of the improper sales practices, the videos content.

“Wells Fargo is all about sales and fees, and helping people without selling new accounts with higher fees hurts production,” a manager in one of the videos says. “And when production hurts, Wells Fargo hurts. “

The video, called “Wells Fargo Jump into January 2011 Morning huddle,” makes light of the pressure-cooker environment — but shows that the pressure to funnel customers into the bank’s financial products was part of an overall strategy that went into the company’s leadership.

“If tellers and bakers make those sales numbers at the end of the month everybody in the branch will get a $5 gift card to McDonalds,” the manager says in the video. “The district manager will get a $10,000 cash bonus, and the community banking president executive will get a $50,000 cash bonus.”


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