| NEW YORK, April 10
NEW YORK, April 10 Among its regional bank-wide
sales campaigns, Wells Fargo & Co's "Jump into January"
program was notorious for the impact it had on staff.
Initially designed to motivate branch employees to exceed
sales goals, the pressure to beat higher daily sales targets
instead encouraged them to forge customer signatures, hold off
on opening accounts signed for in December and target friends
and family to make up the numbers.
The campaign was highlighted in an internal Wells Fargo
report released on Monday that blamed the bank's sales culture
and the management of its retail division for years of sales
The campaign "became a breeding ground for bad behavior that
helped cement the sales culture's negative characteristics,"
witnesses told the report's authors.
"The January campaign also resulted in increased employee
turnover and, in some areas, no paid-time-off or training during
To meet their targets, bankers were encouraged to make lists
of friends and family who were potential sales targets
One branch manager had a teenage daughter with 24 accounts,
an adult daughter with 18 accounts, a husband with 21 accounts,
a brother with 14 accounts and a father with 4 accounts.
The report said that, "many employees believed that their
future at Wells Fargo depended on how many products they sold."
In total, 5,300 staff were fired for sales practice abuses
over five years. Most of the employees that were fired admitted
that they engaged in misconduct, but frequently said they did so
because of the culture at the bank, the report said.
Branch-level managers said they often felt pressure from
their supervisors to make sales, but that only rarely were they
explicitly instructed to engage in misconduct.
One regional president was particularly aggressive in her
Jump into January campaigns, creating a practice known as
“running the gauntlet”, in which district managers dressed up
in themed costumes and ran down to a whiteboard to report the
number of sales they achieved.
The manager was fired for cause in February.
"Jump into January" ended in 2013 and was replaced by
another sales program.
The bank ended all sales goals for retail bankers in
September 2016 and in January introduced a new incentive
program that focused on customer service rather than selling
(Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Carmel Crimmins and