It’s clear that Wells Fargo has proven to NOT be crisis-ready for multiple reasons. As a result, they’re faced with one of the most difficult crises to manage: a crisis of corporate culture.
In this week’s #crisisready video I highlight the bank’s two biggest crisis management fails. Take a look:
What do you think of Wells Fargo’s crisis response?
Comment below or use the hashtag #crisisready on Twitter and let’s continue this conversation!
Author of Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World, Melissa Agnes is a leading authority on crisis preparedness, reputation management, and brand protection. Agnes is a coveted keynote speaker, commentator, and advisor to some of today’s leading organizations faced with the greatest risks. Learn more about Melissa and her work here.
judith delaney says
As usual Melissa you are right on point with the big question – what did they have in place and what are they doing now to manage the crisis. To give you my perspective answer I need to share my story as I was one of their potential “victims”. About a year ago an individual who I had met at a business networking meeting sent out an email letting myself and others know that they had just been hired by our local wellsfargo branch to be the new accounts person (a job they desperately needed) and to drop by. Since this was the branch I did my banking with one day when I was in I stopped by this person’s desk as I had been thinking of opening up a new business account. We chatted and this person was very enthusiastic to help me – handing me all types of forms to fill out so they could “determine” whether opening such an account would be helpful for me. I filled out the forms with the understanding that this was just toanalyze the feasibility of the account. Several days later I started to receive emails from Wells Fargo congratulating me on opening my new business account. I immediately contacted this person who assured me that this was just general practice in the computer and no account had been set up. However, when several days later I received my ATM card (I had not signed any of the forms) I hiked myself down to my friendly branch and asked to speak to the manager. My conversation with him assured him he had to immediately cancel the account with no liability to me. Several days later this person was no longer employed. I did feel a little bad as I knew this person really needed a job but I also felt satisfied that they had not gotten away with setting up an account I had not authorized, So, my perspective is that there must be some processes written somewhere within this huge bank that committing fraud is a no-no. However, as with data breaches my “educated” guess is that no one has read the processes, it is always the other guy’s fault and quite frankly overall I am certain they really do not care unless as I did someone calls them on it. On the other hand, as a consumer I absolutely believe that we need to take responsibility for checking every day what is in our bank’s online summation of our accounts , IRA’s etc. (for example same bank set up an IRA through a company I never worked for – another day). In this most recent revelation I appears that signatures were forged and money amounts were forged and whoever was their supervisor never bothered to check with the customer but just checked their box for their bonus. Fraud -major fraud at its best. So, unless you catch it as I did it is cavet emptor. Wells Fargo is no different from any large institution these days and even though I have not had a chance to read his statement, their crisis management and response is to have the CEO make a contrite statement, fire the one where the buck stopped giving her $124 million for her lack ofmorals and caring for the consumer as they fired her and going back to business as usual. Again, it s the norm these days – say your sorry fire a few people and maybe just maybe you will end up on Dancing with the Stars.
Melissa Agnes says
I like your Dancing with the Stars comment! Thanks for sharing your experience, Judith. Have you seen Senator Elizabeth Warren’s address to Wells Fargo’s CEO, John Stumpf? If you haven’t, I know you’ll enjoy it! Here’s a link: https://youtu.be/xJhkX74D10M
Rob Osborn says
I really enjoy your video blogs. Can I make a suggestion.
There sometimes appears to be an assumption that all your audience is in the UK.
I’ve just watched the Wells Fargo video, which starts with “What was Wells Fargo Thinking”. In the UK this had very little coverage (except in the specific Financial Press). Some context to the issue being discussed would be useful for those of us not in the UK, and would add longevity to the videos if people look at them in 3-4 years time…
Melissa Agnes says
It’s interesting to me that your interpretation is that I think my audience is UK-based. While my audience is extremely global, the biggest concentration comes from North America. However, I appreciate your perspective and I think you’re right. I should provide more context for longevity. Thank you for taking the time to weigh in with your thoughts. They’re very appreciated!
Apologies. Typo on my part. I did, of course, mean US based.
Melissa Agnes says
Makes more sense. But either way, your message was received and appreciated 😉