Have you heard the news? First there was that little Wells Fargo dust-up down here in the states. Now, ALL of Canada’s big banks – or at least some 1,000 of their employees – have reportedly been deluging CBC News investigative reporter Erica Johnson’s inbox, anxious to talk about the pressures they’ve felt to place customers’ best interests second.
The story broke in early March with a bank teller confessing, “I will do anything I can to make my goal.” I wonder if Johnson had any notion that this chink in the wall was soon to be split wide open with a flood of “me too” mea culpas sent her way. She reported on them in this incredible, mid-March follow-up piece, “We are all doing it.”
Incredible to me, anyway. Usually, the popular press loves nothing more than a juicy financial scandal. Except, apparently, if it’s going down up in Canada. What, have we got too many of our own to report on? Unless I’ve missed it, I haven’t seen a peep in the major U.S. media outlets.
It’s worth noting that the climate up north is considerably warmer for bankers than it tends to be down here. Canadians typically love, love, love their banks with a fervor we Americans reserve for baseball and apple pie. So I’m told, anyway, by the many independent evidence-based Canadian advisors who are fighting the good fight in defense of their clients’ best interests.
From what I’ve heard, this YouTube spoof by political satirist Rick Mercer (also of CBC) sums up what a fiduciary-minded Canadian advisor is up against with wicked accuracy.
Will Johnson’s unfolding exposé and Mercer’s “counseling” session generate any lasting changes to your average Canadian’s relationship with his or her bank? There has been some talk of government investigations. Call me a cynic, but talk is cheap. Unless, of course, your hard-won career is on the line and you’re still willing to speak up about it anyway. To the bank employees who are doing just that, I say, bravo and brava. Here’s hoping you find your fiduciary way.