- In a June note, Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf wrote that efforts to recruit minority talent were hampered by a “very limited group of black talent recruits,” Reuters reported on Tuesday.
- He made a similar remark during a Zoom call in the summer, which annoyed some bank employees, according to Reuters.
- “Wells Fargo is badly broken in many ways, and it starts from the top,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren told Business Insider, calling it part of a system that “scams black families disproportionately.”
- A spokesman for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also responded: “Wells Fargo CEO may not have the talent to hire black workers.”
- In the months since the assassination of George Floyd police and the Black Lives Matter protests across the country, Wells Fargo and other banks have pledged to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of their employees.
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Senator Elizabeth Warren, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s representative and Senator Sherrod Brown all condemned Wells Fargo CEO’s repeated claims that the bank’s difficulty in recruiting different employees was due to a lack of black.
“While this may sound like an excuse, the unfortunate reality is that there is a very limited group of black talent for recruitment,” Charlie Scharf, CEO of Wells Fargo, wrote in a June note to employees. according to Reuters. Scharf also reiterated this claim at a Zoom meeting over the summer, angering Black officials, Reuters reported.
“Wells Fargo is badly broken in many ways and it starts from the top,” Warren told Business Insider. “Its CEO has an unthinkable blind spot on how and why this giant bank does not justly recruit, promote and compensate Black talent – and continues to be a key part of a disproportionately fraudulent financial system that builds structural racism in the economy. us and our society. “
Other lawmakers have called in to crack down on bank executives.
Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter on Tuesday: “Wells Fargo CEO may not have the talent to hire black workers.”
And Sen. Sherrod Brown wrote on Twitter Wednesday: “There’s a lot of black talent, @WellsFargo They just do not have the talent for fraud and abuse you are looking for. “
In recent months, companies such as Wells Fargo, the fourth largest asset bank in the United States, have faced calls to hire minority employees and face allegations of discrimination. Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo have all released statements that they promise to change, but these have not published comprehensive data on racial diversity of their employees to the public, Business Insider has previously reported.
On Wednesday, Scharf spoke about the reaction.
“I apologize for making an unconscious comment that reflects my own unconscious prejudice,” Scharf wrote in a statement. corporate note on Wednesday. “There are a lot of talented different people working at Wells Fargo and across the financial services industry and I never wanted to imply anything different.”
Scharf said Wells Fargo had made “early progress” in creating a more diverse and inclusive work environment, including a “return” program to help minority workers return to the workforce after a long period outside the industry and demand for a different series of candidates for roles with salaries over $ 100,000.
Wells Fargo is also building relationships with historic black universities and linking executive compensation to their progress in improving diversity and inclusion, the note said.