Terrible working conditions at banks

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Thinking of a career switch? You probably don’t want to be a bank teller in New York City, according to a new report from the Committee for Better Banks.

The research included interviews, focus groups and survey responses from more than 5,000 bank employees primarily in New York City to examine how banks treat their workers in America’s financial hub. The results paint a dismal portrait of bank tellers, customer sales and service representatives and other retail banking workers. From one Wells Fargo employee’s claim that, at times, her manager would not allow her to drink water to another bank worker’s reports of panic attacks over his concerns of meeting sales goals, the report makes being a bank employee sound stressful, challenging and downright awful.

But wait, some readers might say, doesn’t working at a bank mean making lots of money? Not so. The report includes a staggering fact for these employees throughout the entire country: Bank wages are so low that nearly one-third of bank tellers receive some type of government assistance. According to the University of California, Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, that adds up to approximately $900 million worth of taxpayer-funded subsidies. That’s quite a different lifestyle than senior-level executives. The report points to Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan’s $8.1 million earnings in 2011 and JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon’s $23 million compensation in the same year.

It seems that the most positive move for these employees would be to find new jobs in new industries, and they may want to start searching now. The report points to big banks cutting positions and outsourcing jobs overseas to save money.

Do you know anyone who works at a bank? Have you heard complaints of similar problems?

Written by
David McMillin
Contributing writer
David McMillin writes about credit cards, mortgages, banking, taxes and travel. David's goal is to help readers figure out how to save more and stress less.