Jeremy was an employee of Wells Fargo during the period it was engulfed in the now well-publicised banking scandal.
Jeremy considered himself to be a hard-working and conscientious banker. He was aware of dubious practices undertaken by some of his colleagues. An opportunity to express his concerns about these behaviours arose, so Jeremy acted.
It quickly became clear that the questionable practices were institutionalised; as Jeremy continued to report them, he was ignored and derided. Ultimately Jeremy evaluates that his situation is irredeemable, so he cuts his losses. However, this was only the beginning of his troubles.
So, how did this impact on Jeremy as he went about looking for new work? Ahead of actually discovering the notations made to his U5 “report card” Jeremy applied for numerous positions. It wasn’t until a well-meaning HR operative stepped outside standard procedures and alerted Jeremy to a black mark against his name.
Jeremy ultimately gains new employment, but he discovers he needs to be strategic about it. He had to target a corner of the industry that did not rely as heavily on the U5 document. Of course, in the back of Jeremy’s mind at all times is the possibility of this blemish on his record upheaving his world again.
We understand from Jeremy’s story that staff undertaking “alternative” methods to achieve sales targets were being overlooked, and those with the courage to expose these practices were being squeezed out and black-marked. True victims of the scandal, these “wrong-doers” were sacked. What are the prospects of clearing their name?
The U5 form was created with apparent good intent. Unfortunately, it has been misused, particularly by Wells Fargo to unfairly brand staff as “bad apples”.