Go Public Investigation Reveals Five of Canada’s Largest Banks Are Pressuring Employees to Meet Unrealistic Sales Goals

A CBC Go Public investigation has revealed employees from all five of Canada’s largest banks — RBC, BMO, CIBC, TD and Scotiabank — are coerced to “upsell, trick and even lie” to customers in an effort to meet unrealistic sales targets. Many bank employees have even expressed concern they are at risk of losing their job if they don’t meet these targets, which are closely monitored.  

One anonymous RBC employer told Go Public that even when customers don’t require anything, workers are instructed to upgrade their Visa card, increase their Visa limits or encourage customers to open a credit line.

Meanwhile, at TD, front-line staff are even breaking the law in an effort to sell their customers products they may not need. One worker told Go Public, “I bumped up credit cards, overdraft or account types just because of the pressures.”

The Go Public investigation further uncovered managers are utilizing pressure tactics in order to increase sales. One employee from an RBC branch in Guelph said she has been threatened with pay cuts and job loss if she doesn’t upsell an adequate amount of customers. She also told Go Public that managers send out weekly emails to discredit employees not hitting their sales targets. Meanwhile, employees at several RBC branches in Calgary said white boards in staff rooms not only list financial advisors meeting their goals, but also those employees that aren’t.

For many of these employees, these threats and bully tactics are causing undue amounts of stress; some are even on medical leave. Others yet have even had to quit after suffering from insomnia, anxiety, nausea, and depression.

While Go Public requested interviews with the CEOs of the five big banks, all declined. Instead, they simply sent statements expressing that the banks act in the best interest of their clients, and that employees are expected to follow codes of conduct. According to Go Public, these statements did not address employees’ concerns about the shaming and bullying tactics that occur when they do not meet sales targets.

Alexandre Boulerice, NDP finance critic, is now calling for a parliamentary inquiry into the sales practices of Canadian banks, says Go Public.

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