Wells Fargo announced Thursday that it would stop giving its employees a free credit card, saying it was doing so to ensure its own employees’ safety.
The company said in a statement that it was making the decision after reviewing the safety and well-being of its customers, as well as the needs of the financial institution, and that it had reached an agreement with regulators to stop the card payments.
The announcement came as thousands of people took to the streets to protest the company’s decision to stop giving employees free credit cards, a move that drew the ire of the public and some regulators.
It is a sign of how the financial crisis has affected our country, said protester, James McKeown.
The banks have been the people that have put money into the pockets of this industry, said McKeough.
Wells Fargo has been one of the big banks that has been the biggest beneficiary of the crisis.
The people that are making this money, that are contributing to this financial system, should be protected, said Brian Gorman, an organizer of the protest.
“This is a huge mistake.
It’s a huge risk to our economy,” Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan said in an interview with CNNMoney.
Sloan said the decision to halt the free credit is “a decision we have made with respect to our financial institutions and we’re continuing to make that decision.”
He did not provide any other details about the company.
The credit card program was meant to help make sure that employees’ financial lives were not impacted, he said.
In a statement, the company said that in the event that Wells Fargo’s business is no longer profitable, employees will receive a check.
The statement did not specify what the amount would be or what would happen if the company goes under.
“We are committed to working with the regulators to ensure that the people we have in our community have access to the highest quality financial products and services,” Sloan said.
Wells Fargo said the card program will continue, though it will now be called a “cash-only program” to reflect the new name it is using to avoid a repeat of the controversy that surrounded the company in the months following the 2008 collapse.
The move comes as a handful of other financial firms are making similar changes to their business models amid the global crisis, including Wells Fargo, which announced on Thursday that its employees will no longer receive credit cards.
It also comes amid a broader debate about how to keep workers safe in the face of the new, increasingly complex and complex threats, such as cyber attacks, ransomware, and financial fraud.
In June, Wells Fargo said it would begin requiring its employees to sign an agreement to take out a security deposit, a measure it has been considering for years, but it also has stopped doing so.
The new policy comes as other companies have been facing the fallout from the financial turmoil, including JPMorgan Chase, which has said it will halt its card-signing program in the United States.
Last month, Wells, meanwhile, said it was cutting 1,000 jobs amid a widening federal investigation into the company, including a probe into whether the bank helped clients avoid paying taxes.
Wellis’ decision to drop the free cards comes after several other large financial firms have also stopped giving employees a credit card.
The Federal Reserve said on Thursday it would lift a moratorium on issuing new loans to the banks, which had been due to expire at the end of March.