Financial giant TD Bank has been forced to defend its approach to ethics and integrity after claims surfaced that employees broke the law in order to meet sales targets.
“We are in the trust business,” CEO Bharat Masrani said in a statement. “Everything we do is about earning and sustaining the trust of those we serve."
Masrani’s comments come in the wake of several CBC reports which say employees report feeling pressured to sign customers up for products and services they don’t need in order to boost profits.
According to the one of the CBC articles, hundreds of current and former employees contacted the news outlet and admitted breaking the law in order to earn points towards sales targets which they are required to meet in order to stay employed.
“The environment described in the media report is very much at odds with how we run our business, and we don't recognize it from our own perspective, experience or assessments,” TD said in a follow-up statement.
“While we believe that having metrics and goals helps us to manage our business, we also believe that we will only achieve our goals by doing the right thing for our customers.”
Spokesperson Daria Hill said the firm has an anonymous whistleblower hotline where both employees and customers can raise concerns – all of which will be investigated.
“We also strive to make sure employees feel empowered to escalate any concerns about unethical practices to their manager's manager,'' she said.
The scandal comes just six months after Wells Fargo paid $185 million in fines to regulators in order settle allegations that its employees created millions of fake bank accounts for customers. More the 5,000 employees were fired for misconduct relating to the fake accounts.
Leading business analyst John Aiken said investors are already raising concerns that the fallout could be similar to what happened with Wells Fargo but said it’s unlikely the consequences will be so severe.
"Ultimately, we do not believe that there will be much of an impact on TD, as we would be surprised if the issues described were as systemic as occurred with Wells Fargo in the U.S.,” he wrote in a commentary.
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