The of customers.” (Blake). How does a company reconcile

definition of Business Ethics as defined by is, “the study of
proper business policies and practices regarding potentially controversial
issues, such as corporate governance, insider trading, bribery, discrimination,
corporate social responsibility and fiduciary responsibilities” (Business
In the 2016 case of Wells Fargo opening fraudulent bank accounts or credit
cards, incurring fees and affecting credit scores of current customers,
business ethics were ignored and customer trust was violated. Wells Fargo
employees participated in an illegal act to bolster their quarterly enrollment
numbers and ultimately increase their attractiveness to investors. Even if the
accounts were opened and closed immediately without the customer’s knowledge
this influences their credit in a real way, not to mention their trust in the
business that a customer would not be defrauded. If Wells Fargo did not have
the moral obligation then they do have a legal obligation. The repercussions to
Wells Fargo on top of stock price decline and distrust from investors is, “the
Los Angeles City Attorney and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
(OCC) fined the bank $185 million” (Blake).

It was reported that employees were,
“demoted, forced to resign, or terminated,” for not meeting “impossible” quotas
the bank set as goals for employees to open accounts on behalf of customers.” (Blake). How does a company
reconcile needing to be the best in the field while also having a
responsibility to their employees to treat them ethically? Requiring an
ambitious sales quota is not uncommon or unethical. Pressuring employees to the
point of feeling the need to commit fraud to meet quotas is not ethical. The
current financial climate encourages this kind of “at any cost” behavior. The
financial crisis of 2008 has not been remedied and it seems “business as usual”
for the large American financial companies.

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