Fed regulatory rules squeeze banking employees

Low-level workers fired because of new banking standards


Richard Eggers doesn't look like a mastermind of financial crime.

The former farm boy speaks deliberately, can't remember the last time he got a speeding ticket, and favors suspenders, horn-rim glasses and plaid shirts. But the 68-year-old Vietnam veteran is still too risky for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, which fired him on July 12 from his $29,795-a-year job as a customer service representative.

Egger's crime? Putting a cardboard cutout of a dime in a washing machine in Carlisle on Feb. 2, 1963.

"It was a stupid stunt and I'm not real proud of it, but to fire somebody for something like this after seven good years of employment is a dirty trick when you come right down to it," said Eggers of Des Moines. "And they're doing this kind of thing all across the country."

Big banks have been firing low-level employees like Eggers since the issuance of new federal banking employment guidelines in May 2011 and new mortgage employment guidelines in February.

The tougher standards are meant to weed out executives and mid-level bank employees guilty of transactional crimes, like identity fraud or mortgage fraud, but they are being applied across-the-board thanks to $1 million a day fines for noncompliance.

Banks have fired thousands of workers nationally because of the rules, said Natasha Buchanan, an attorney with Higbee & Associates in Santa Ana, Calif., who has helped some of the banking workers regain their eligibility to be employed. "Banks are afraid of the FDIC and the penalties they could face," Buchanan said.

The regulatory rules forbid the employment of anyone convicted of a crime involving dishonesty, breach of trust or money laundering. Before the guidelines were changed, banks widely interpreted the rules to exclude minor traffic offenses and some other misdemeanor arrests.
Comments: First of all, I work for said bank but I don't believe this article is about that bank but rather federal regulations. Secondly it explains why the charge "intent to evade taxes" was such a serious issue for me! (And why HR was tracking the results).


  1. Great post, thank you for sharing with us Jim! AHMSI rip off

  2. Latest: Fired bank employee cleared to work again

    A 68-year-old Des Moines man who lost his job at a Wells Fargo & Co. call center because he put a cardboard dime in a washing machine in 1963 has been cleared to return to work in the banking industry, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. documents.

    Richard Eggers became a symbol of the unintended consequences of misguided regulation after his July 12 firing. Employment attorneys and federal lawmakers say thousands of low-level bank employees like him have been fired in the past two years under tighter regulations meant to discourage misconduct by more influential workers. Only a fraction pursue the FDIC waivers needed to return to work in banking, according to attorney Leonard Bates, who is representing Eggers.

    "I'm pleased that the waiver was approved," said Eggers, a Vietnam veteran who made $29,795 a year as a customer service representative for the largest U.S. bank by market capitalization.


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