SENATE INQUIRY INTO CONSUMER RIPOFFS IN BANKING. UNION APPEARS TODAY SYDNEY.
FINANCE SECTOR UNION OF AUSTRALIA Wednesday, 28 June 2017
FORMER WELLS FARGO BANKER GIVING EVIDENCE IN SYDNEY TO SENATE INQUIRY INTO CONSUMER PROTECTION IN THE BANKING, INSURANCE AND FINANCIAL SECTOR.
CONSUMERS are bearing the brunt of a banking boom that is generating up to $30 billion in profits for Australian banks every year.
Recent cases of misconduct by banks has revealed major changes in ‘banking culture’ that has altered the relationship between consumers and their banks.
The push by banks to focus on sales and signing consumers up for new credit cards, bank accounts, insurance and loans has boosted bank profits and turned customers into sales opportunities.
That’s meant bank workers are under pressure to sell ever increasing numbers of banking products just to keep their jobs.
The experience at major US bank Wells Fargo is an example of what goes wrong when banks prioritise big profits over customers.
Kilian Colin was a personal banker at Wells Fargo in San Diego for three years and will give evidence to the Senate Economics References Committee in Sydney today.
“The unreasonable sales quotas at Wells Fargo took a huge toll on workers like me,” Kilian Colin said.
“Like many retail banks in Australia, the branch where I worked was structured in such a way that we had to reach sales quotas every day. If I did not meet my sales goals I could be written up for discipline, and I risked being fired,” he said.
The push for profits led to a US$185 million fine and settlement after an investigation found more than two million fraudulent accounts had been created by staff at Wells Fargo.
Mr Colin said: “At Wells Fargo there was a frantic attempt to comply with management’s ever-increasing demand that workers sell, sell, sell.”
The Finance Sector Union has been calling for a Royal Commission into banking to reveal the true inner workings of our banking system and make sure banks are obliged to act in the best interests of consumers.