Frontline Staffers Qualify for Public Assistance: Report
More than a third of front line credit union and bank employees earn such low wages, they qualify for public assistance.
That sobering statistic was included in a study released by a group dedicated to improving working conditions for financial service workers.
The New York City-based Better Bank Committee released its report, “The State of the Bank Employee on Wall Street,” in December 2013. It has since become part of the national discussion over wages and income disparity between corporate executives and workers.
The report draws on research from the University of California at Berkeley's Center for Labor Research and Education, as well as surveys of more than 5,000 financial service workers.
The survey was open to financial service workers from both banks and credit unions, but the report did not break down how many respondents came from each type of institution, and the organization has not yet commented on its data source distribution.
The report also detailed what survey respondents described as their rising stress from sales goals and targets.
“In an open-ended question about how the banking industry has changed since 2008, 35% of survey respondents described much tougher, often unattainable sales pressures, with sales demands frequently rising each month” the organization reported. “Many survey respondents have described needing to sell products in order to meet the goals, regardless of the actual benefit to the customer.”
The organization said several financial service employees recounted how if sales goals were not met, employees were at serious risk of losing their jobs.
Some respondents said in certain divisions, banks subtract sales goal shortfalls from employees’ paychecks, so they remain indebted to the bank for as long as they work there, the report said.