Wells Fargo staged sham job interviews for black, female candidates: report


Wells Fargo staged sham job interviews with minority candidates for positions that had already been promised to others, according to a former executive at the bank who claims he was fired after complaining about it to his bosses.

Joe Bruno, who was an executive in the wealth management division at Wells Fargo’s corporate offices in Jacksonville, Florida, told The New York Times that he was dismissed last summer as part of management’s retaliation for flagging the issue.

Bruno said that he told his superiors that the “fake interviews” were “inappropriate, morally wrong, ethically wrong,” according to the Times.

The Post has reached out to Wells Fargo and Bruno seeking comment. Shares of Wells Fargo were trading down more than 1% as of 11 a.m. Eastern time on Thursday.

Wells Fargo claimed that it let Bruno go for retaliating against a colleague.

The Times cited Bruno and seven current and former bank employees who claimed they were told by their bosses to interview a set of “diverse” candidates even though they had no realistic chance of landing the job.

Joe Bruno was fired from his job as an executive at Wells Fargo's Jacksonville corporate office after he complained about the sham interviews, according to a report.
Joe Bruno was fired from his job as an executive at Wells Fargo’s Jacksonville corporate office after he complained about the sham interviews, according to a report.
Joe Bruno/Linkedin

The sham interviews were instead designed to make the bank appear as if it were striving to diversify its workforce so that it wouldn’t land in hot water with government regulators, according to the Times.

A Wells Fargo spokesperson told the Times that all bank employees were expected to follow hiring policies and guidelines.

The nation’s largest mortgage lender has an informal policy to interview minority candidates for open positions.

Bruno, 58, worked as an executive at the bank's wealth management division in its corporate offices in Jacksonville, Florida.
Bruno, 58, worked as an executive at the bank’s wealth management division in its corporate offices in Jacksonville, Florida.
Shutterstock

“To the extent that individual employees are engaging in the behavior as described by The New York Times, we do not tolerate it,” the spokesperson, Raschelle Burton, told the Times.

The claims made against Wells Fargo will put another dent in the bank’s reputation which suffered a hit after it was fined an eye-popping $4.5 billion by the feds for its fraudulent accounts scandal.

The public relations difficulties have not hampered the San Francisco-based bank’s bottom line.

Wells Fargo earned $5.8 billion in the last quarter of 2021, easily beating Wall Street estimates.

For the full year, Wells collected $21.5 billion in profit, or $4.95 per share.

Sales for 2021 came in at $78.49 billion, a 5% increase over 2020, when the bank reported revenue of $74.26 billion.



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