CBC: March 6, 2017
Three TD Bank Group employees are speaking out about what they say is “incredible pressure” to squeeze profits from customers by signing them up for products and services they don’t need.
The longtime employees say their jobs have become similar to that of the stereotypical used car salesman, as they’re pushed to upsell customers to reach rising sales revenue targets.
They say there has always been a sales component to the job, but the demand to meet “unrealistic” quarterly goals has intensified in recent years as profits from low interest rates have dropped and banks became required — after the financial meltdown of 2008 — to keep more capital on hand to protect against a downturn in the market.
“I’m in survival mode now,” says a teller who has worked at TD for more than 15 years, “because it’s a choice between keeping my job and feeding my family … or doing what’s right for the customer.”
She and the two managers who contacted Go Public have worked more than 50 years combined at the bank. CBC has agreed to conceal their identities and location because they are worried about being fired.
“When I come into work, I have to put my ethics aside and not do what’s right for the customer,” says the teller.
Documents provided to Go Public show the teller’s sales revenue goals have more than tripled in the past three years.
“You don’t know what it’s like to go to bed at night, knowing your job is now to set people up for financial failure,” says the teller, her voice cracking.
Go Public has heard from TD tellers in several Canadian cities who say they quit their jobs because the pressure to push products was so extreme.
“I was made to feel as if I was committing a huge wrong for looking out for the best interests of my customer over the interests of the bank,” says Dalisha Dyal, who worked as a TD teller in Vancouver for four years.
Another TD teller says the relentless pressure to meet sales numbers is so severe, the teller is currently on a medical leave.
The three bank employees who initially contacted Go Public explained how tellers upsell customers: when a customer keys in a PIN at the teller counter, a gold star lights up on the teller’s computer screen, indicating that “Advice Opportunities Exist.”
When a teller clicks on the star, products and services the customer hasn’t purchased pop up, such as overdraft protection, credit card or line of credit.
Each time a teller gets a customer to sign up for one of those options, it counts towards meeting their sales targets.
“Customers are prey to me,” says the teller. “I will do anything I can to make my [sales] goal.”
(read the full article at CBC)