(PresidentialWire.com)- According to a Thursday article from The New York Times, a former wealth management executive at Wells Fargo joined other former and present workers alleging that the bank conducts false interviews with female and minority candidates to raise diversity numbers.
According to the New York Times, Joe Bruno is one of seven current and former Wells Fargo employees who said that their direct bosses or human resources managers in the bank’s wealth management unit instructed them to interview ‘diverse’ candidates — even though the decision had already been made to give the job to another candidate.”
Five more claimed they were aware of the practice or assisted in its implementation.
According to the participants, the interviews were pointless attempts to promote diversity goals and dodge regulatory checks. Wells Fargo agreed to pay $7.8 million to settle a Department of Labor claim that the bank discriminated against over 34,000 African-American applicants for banking, customer sales and service, and administrative support positions and over 300 female applicants for administrative support positions in August 2020.
Bruno told the New York Times that he alerted his bosses about the “false interviews,” which he called “inappropriate, morally wrong, and ethically wrong.” According to the Times, Bruno was sacked last summer after Wells Fargo “dismissed his assertions,” the bank believes he was fired in retribution for another employee.
In the summer of 2020, Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf received backlash for saying in a memo that “there is a very limited pool of Black talent to recruit from.”
Later that year, he apologized for the insensitive statement “reflecting his own unconscious bias,” saying that many outstanding diverse individuals work at Wells Fargo and throughout the financial services business, and “I never meant to suggest differently.”
Despite joining other prominent investment banks in implementing diversity initiatives in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, Wells Fargo was chastised.
Scharf said that our country is going through a difficult time. As a white guy, no matter how hard he tries to understand what others are going through, he knows that he can never truly respect and comprehend what people of color go through or the consequences of discriminatory conduct that others must endure.
He said, “I can assure you that our firm will do all possible to encourage and create a workplace culture that loves and respects diversity and inclusion.”
Wells Fargo agreed to pay $3 billion in February 2020 after the Department of Justice said it had pressured employees to “meet unrealistic sales goals” that led “thousands of employees to provide millions of accounts or products to customers under false pretenses or without consent, often by creating false records or misusing customers’ identities.”
Inspector General Mark Bialek of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection said that his office is committed to bringing to justice those who deliberately falsify and fabricate bank records to deceive regulators and the public.