Banking

Following Scandal, Wells Fargo Nixes Retail Banking Sales Goals

$50M Wells Fargo settlement

Wells Fargo may not have explicitly admitted wrongdoing in the creation and use of sham accounts tied to client activity, but the firm announced on Tuesday (Sept. 13) it was taking at least some steps toward changing its corporate culture. Via press release, the financial giant said that, beginning Jan. 1 , 2017, it would eliminate all product sales goals in its retail banking division.

In a statement accompanying the release, Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf stated: “Our objective has always been and continues to be to meet our customers’ financial needs and drive customer satisfaction. We are eliminating product sales goals because we want to make certain our customers have full confidence that our retail bankers are always focused on the best interests of customers.”

“We believe this decision is both good for our customers and good for our business. The key to our success is the lifelong relationships that result from providing each customer with great value. For the past several years, we have significantly strengthened our training programs, controls and oversight and have evolved our model to ensure we are rewarding deeper relationships and providing excellent customer service. The elimination of product sales goals represents another step to reinforce our service culture, helps ensure that nothing gets in the way of our ability to achieve our mission and is consistent with our commitment to providing a great place to work,” said the executive.

As widely reported across various media, including PYMNTS, Wells Fargo had been involved in a systemic attempt to ramp up consumer enrollment in new accounts and also churned activity in those accounts, seemingly without permission. Those actions led to fines on the order of $185 million for that behavior, including $100 million paid to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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New PYMNTS Report: Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook – July 2020 

Call it the great tug-of-war. Fraudsters are teaming up to form elaborate rings that work in sync to launch account takeovers. Chris Tremont, EVP at Radius Bank, tells PYMNTS that financial institutions (FIs) can beat such highly organized fraudsters at their own game. In the July 2020 Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook, Tremont lays out how.

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