The types of incentives that went awry at Wells Fargo appear to be the exception rather than the rule in retail banking, according to a new report from SourceMedia Research.
Just 27.5% of the more than 300 bankers surveyed in November said their institutions set formal cross-selling targets for their staff. Among those that do, about half aim for a specific number of products per customer relationship.
Of the group with hard targets, the vast majority said they had formal incentive programs to encourage cross-selling. But close to half of those executives said their companies either have changed or are planning to change their practices and policies.
The report comes at a time when regulators are scrutinizing banks' cross-sale practices following the revelation that thousands of Wells Fargo employees had created roughly 2 million unwanted accounts for customers. The bank had long touted its cross-selling ratio (more than six products per customer) to investors; former CEO John Stumpf was mocked in congressional hearings for encouraging employees to aim for eight because it rhymes with "great." His successor, Tim Sloan, later said, "We had product sales goals that sometimes resulted in behaviors and practices that did not serve our customers' or our team members' interests."
The full SourceMedia Research report, entitled "Cross-Selling: What's Really Going On?," can be found here. SourceMedia Research is part of SourceMedia, the parent company of American Banker.