Wells Fargo CEO Claims Employees Can Call Ethics Line Without Fear Of Losing Jobs

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart

In the six months since Wells Fargo’s fake account fiasco came to light dozens of employees have come forward claiming that their attempts to shed light on other employees’ bad behavior by calling the company’s ethics hotline ended in their termination. But the banking institution’s new executive says that’s no longer a worry. 

CNN reports that Wells CEO Tim Sloan — who took over after the “retirement” of John Stumpf back in October — says that employees should have no fear of retribution if they call the company’s ethics line.

In fact, Sloan says that the company has brought in a law firm to review “hundreds of cases” of employees calling the ethics line. The firm is identifying the workers and then looking to see if they were fired or punished within the last year.

Sloan says that the company is currently closely reviewing a handful of cases and determining if the company was in the wrong.

“If it turns out that we were in error, we will fix it with that team member,” he tells CNN.

Such was apparently the case for a wealth management group manager who the bank was ordered to rehire earlier this month. While that case didn’t involve the fake account fiasco, the manager claims he was fired after calling the ethics line to report separate incidents of suspected bank, mail, and wire fraud by two employees under his supervision.

Sloan tells CNN that any instance of retaliation via the ethics line is “completely unacceptable.”

Now, he says he would feel comfortable if his kids — none of which work for the bank — were to call the line with an issue.

He also notes that the company is reaching out to — and sometimes rehiring — employees who may have left the company because they “were uncomfortable” with the bank’s high-pressure sales goals or were fired for failing to meet those goals.

So far, he says Wells Fargo has hired back about 1,000 of those employees. As for the 5,300 employees fired for opening fake accounts, Sloan says they broke the rules and won’t be invited back.

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