Paul Meloan – Vested Interest

Having a relationship with a fiduciary advisor means never having to wonder what incentive is behind the advice you receive.

The Los Angeles Times uncovered a pattern of what could only be called bizarre and brazen (criminal?) behavior by employees at financial giant and Too Big to Fail Bank Wells Fargo.

Workers and branch managers were given an ultimatum: open more accounts or you’re fired. The employees responded by working longer hours and browbeating customers and prospects to open more accounts. When the workers could not meet quotas ethically they resorted to opening multiple, unwanted accounts for customers. They ordered credit cards in the clients’ names that the clients had not asked for. Along the way clients paid good money in completely needless fees.

Now Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $185 million in fines and penalties for their pattern of customer fraud.

Understand someone’s incentives and you will understand their behavior.

Paul Meloan is the co-founder and co-managing member of Aegis Wealth Management, LLC, in Bethesda, Maryland USA. Before Aegis Paul was a practicing attorney as well as working in the tax practice of Ernst & Young, LLP.

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