Wells Fargo Staged 'Fake' Interviews For Black Candidates, Former Exec Says

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A former Wells Fargo higher-up claims he was terminated after calling out the bank for staging bogus interviews with minority candidates.

Joe Bruno, an ex-executive in the wealth management, told the New York Times that he was fired from Wells Fargo last summer after describing the "fake interviews" with Black and female applicants as “inappropriate, morally wrong, [and] ethically wrong.” Bruno said his termination was an act of retaliation by management for bringing attention to the issue.

According to the New York Times, Bruno along with seven other current and present Wells Fargo employees spoke out about directives given by superiors to set up interviews with a "diverse" group of candidates for positions that were already filled. The fake interviews were scheduled to make the bank appear to be diversifying its workplace and keep the company off of government regulators' radar.

However, a Wells Fargo spokesperson said that all employees were expected to follow hiring policies and guidelines. The bank denied firing Bruno for pointing out the "fake interviews," but instead said they booted the executive for his retaliation against another colleague.

Wells Fargo reportedly has an informal policy in place to give minority candidates interview opportunities for open positions. Bruno said these candidates were given interviews for jobs they didn't stand a chance at landing.

Raschelle Burton, the bank's spokesperson, said, “To the extent that individual employees are engaging in the behavior as described by The New York Times, we do not tolerate it."

The bank continues to suffer from reputation hits. Wells Fargo was recently fined $4.5 billion for its fraudulent accounts scandal, the New York Post reports.

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