On August 23rd we posted a BluePaper Bullet “Wells Fargo: Wheels Falling Off?” and “Wells Fargo’s New Brand Impacting Wealth Management.” A week later, on August 31st, national press revealed that the fraud at Wells Fargo is much worse than what was originally thought.
Updated bullets added.
We’ve been recruiting advisors out of Wells Fargo Advisors (WFA) for more than a decade because they have some of the most coveted advisors in the industry.
The overwhelming “Not interested, happy where I’m at” theme we’ve heard from Wells advisors over the years, centered on the advisor’s comfort and security with the Wells Fargo brand and reputation. What a difference a year can make.
- It seems every month there is a new revelation about the Wells Fargo Bank defrauding their customers. The depth and scope of what has been revealed in the media and Wells Fargo’s aggressive actions towards the whistleblowers who exposed them, shows that Wells Fargo Bank has been promoting a culture of fraud for some time.
- This is one of the worse-case scenarios for wealth management firms who are owned by a bank. WFAs went from having security in the brand they represented, to apologizing to their clients on behalf of the bank and explaining how even though the logo is the same, the bank and wealth management are different, and that all this fraud was on the banking side. While advisors for the most part, have been able to effectively damage control with their current clients, advisors don’t like being in a defensive position.
- We find it ironic that the Private Wealth Group and FiNet advisors have embodied Warren Buffet’s vision for Wells Fargo more than the Wells Fargo Bank itself. While the financial advisors and wealth management divisions are focusing on helping their clients, many of their counterparts on the banking side have been focusing on defrauding them.
- We have heard from different firms on both employee and independent platforms, that half their recruiting pipelines are now Wells Fargo Advisors. With each month that a new national story breaks about a Wells Fargo Bank’s creativity in defrauding their customers, a straw breaks an advisor’s will to stay.
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