Committee for Better Banks: $3 Billion Wells Fargo Settlement Does Not Change Corrupt Culture at Heart of Scandal

Committee for Better Banks: $3 Billion Wells Fargo Settlement Does Not Change Corrupt Culture at Heart of Scandal

Calls on CEO to meet with front-line bank workers who exposed the scandal 

Committee for Better Banks

For Immediate Release: February 21, 2020

Media Contact: Zoe PiSierra, [email protected], 603-339-0042

Tian Weinberg, [email protected], 646-701-4356

NATIONWIDE — In response to today’s settlement between Wells Fargo and the Securities and Exchange Commission and federal prosecutors over the financial giant’s widespread abuse of customers, Kilian Colin, Committee for Better Banks member and former employee of Wells Fargo during the height of the scandal said:

“When bank workers started to raise alarms about Wells Fargo’s fake account scandal, managers retaliated against us. To make matters worse, frontline employees like us were unfairly scapegoated for trying to meet intense sales pressures.

“Today’s settlement might bring some relief to consumers and workers, but it does not relinquish Wells Fargo’s duty to change the workplace culture that fueled the disastrous scandal in the first place. Four years later, workers are not confident that they are seeing the necessary changes to repair the harm done.

“The settlement, which is a fraction of the $25.8 billion that Wells Fargo paid its shareholders in 2018, is only one step toward accountability. Wells Fargo frontline employees with the Committee for Better Banks are calling on CEO Charles Scharf to meet and discuss these crucial issues. His promise to change the company’s culture -- that requires front-line workers to have a seat at the table, instead of being flat-out ignored.”

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Background on the Committee for Better Banks at Wells Fargo:

Wells Fargo employees with the Committee for Better Banks have been demanding a response from CEO Charles Scharf about the wave of layoffs and outsourcing impacting thousands of families nationwide. Despite making over $30 billion in profit in 2018 and after $25.8 billion returned to shareholders through share buybacks and dividend increases, Wells Fargo announced last year that it would cut 26,000 positions.

In October 2019, the Department of Labor certified Trade Adjustment Assistance for laid-off workers at Wells Fargo’s Shoreview branch in Minnesota.  Following the Shoreview layoffs in August 2019, Wells Fargo announced in October its decision to layoff over 350 workers from the bank’s Concord branch in California, including many highly-skilled customer service representatives. Concord workers have also filed for Trade Adjustment Assistance as the company continues to offshore thousands of frontline employees’ jobs.

In recent weeks, Representative Cindy Axne (D-IA) has introduced a bill in response to the mass layoffs of Wells Fargo workers in Iowa that took place in 2019, the Offshoring Notification Act. The bill would require employers to tell laid-off workers whether their jobs are being replaced overseas, and ultimately expedite the process for workers to receive financial support.

About the Committee for Better Banks:

The Committee for Better Banks, the only independent voice for frontline bank employees, is comprised of bank workers, community and consumer advocacy groups, and labor organizations, coming together to improve conditions in the banking industry. Committee for Better Banks members include current and former employees of banks and credit unions across the country, including Wells Fargo, Santander, Bank of The West, and Bank of America.

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