Less than a decade ago, poor banking practices and the pursuit of consumer-generated revenue by the big banks, in part triggered the worst recession this country has seen in generations. Banks take advantage of this crisis that they helped create by targeting their customers for loans and credit cards when they come into bank branches, and by targeting state and local governments with predatory municipal finance deals.
Many customers are unaware that when they come into a bank branch, workers are strapped with aggressive sales goals and quotas. Workers are disciplined if they do not sell enough credit cards, checking accounts, loans and other financial products; or they are paid a low wage and must sell a vast amount of these products in order to make their wage livable. These aggressive and predatory sales goals structures create a hostile work environment for employees and lead to predatory practices in our communities.
To the banks, the customer—be it an individual, small business owner or municipal government—is simply an income stream. And the banks are increasingly focused on exploiting that income stream.