Wells Fargo bonuses down by 30%?!

Story from NYT Dealbreaker: Bonus Watch '19: Carnage At The Stagecoach

It appears that bonuses are being handed out at Wells Fargo, and judging from our email inbox, America's least-trusted bank is now pretty widely hated by the people who still work there.

According to one tipster, "Wells Fargo bonuses released today. Associates and up. Down 30% across the board. Even hurting stub associates."

Says a second, "Bonuses announced here at WF. They are screwing us almost as bad as our clients. 30% drop. Morale in the shitter."

And yet a third puts it even more stark picture. "Absolute bonus carnage over here at the Stagecoach. Down 10-30% based on seniority. People shocked to see they also skimmed the new associates as well."

Any truth to this story? Seems crazy.

Comments (61)

Mar 1, 2019 - 4:26pm
FellowTraveler, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Never gets old. Find some pocket of the organization that did something bad/money-losing/criminal and use it as a pretext to slash bonuses for everyone else.

  • 3
Mar 2, 2019 - 11:04am
IBlifer, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Generally true. Can't speak for Markets (S&T and CM), but in IB down 15-30%, often based on seniority. More senior got a higher % cut. Obv not true in every individual case, but as a general rule, yes. I work at Wells in IB, have been there for several years. People who lived through the crisis will say - worst year since 2008.

Mar 2, 2019 - 11:10am
Taroon007, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Have friends that work at Wells, they told me that bonus were cut across the board even stubs for Analyst and Associates.

Mar 6, 2019 - 5:41pm
justphresh, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I got nothing (stub would've been only for a couple months anyways) and neither did my other analyst who was here all year. Niche product market but under CIB umbrella. I know a couple other analysts that got stubs for a couple thousand. I'm not sure what the M&A groups look like for bonuses at the Analyst/Associate level.

Most Helpful
Mar 4, 2019 - 3:31pm
Htownrr, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Actually, only possible under a single scenario. Any financial institution with over 10% of total deposits cannot acquire another bank without special permission by the OCC/FDIC.

That's how WF bought Wachovia in the first place. Considering the credit culture and low L/D ratios, it is nearly impossible.

Mar 9, 2019 - 3:35am
653314cchiefs, what's your opinion? Comment below:

At WF current size; there is little to zero chance a buyout is feasible. Wells has one of the largest balance sheets on the planet. A buyout is too complicated and expensive to be realistic

Mar 2, 2019 - 3:19pm
AMInPhase1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

it's possible, they are in pretty bad shape from what i have been reading in the news lately


  • 1
Mar 2, 2019 - 3:29pm
raidx, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Spoke to my friend who works in IB at Wells Fargo and he confirmed this. Bonuses are way down and morale is even lower.

Mar 4, 2019 - 6:50pm
QuiltEmerson, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Lol, as if people needed another reason to hate Wells Fargo. Two negatives don't make a positive in this equation.

I don't know... Yeah. Almost definitely yes.

  • 1
  • Anonymous Monkey's picture
  • Anonymous Monkey
  • Rank: Chimp
Mar 6, 2019 - 12:16pm
Anonymous Monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This is terrible and very sad for so many people - especially junior bankers down in the trenches working to death and trying to make some money for the first time in their lives. I feel for them...

WFC... wow... we'll take your talent - apparently you don't want it.

Mar 8, 2019 - 1:22pm
jsantagata, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You brats should be grateful that you have jobs. Stop bitching, ain't nothing worse than a banker bitch complaining about not being overpaid enough.

Joseph Santagata
  • 4
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Mar 8, 2019 - 9:12pm
Edwardo123, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Currently at Wells. Definitely feel bad for the analysts and associates who's bonuses were cut. Less so for the more senior folks who were supposed to bring in deals but didn't. The Investment Banks's revenues were down 20% and lost market share. Don't think we did a single material M&A transaction bank wide two years running. Unlike in previous years, this years bonuses were geared towards merit...imagine being an M&A banker getting a full bonus despite not doing anything for two years.

Jsantagata may be a troll but he does have a point. We have too many ppl for the limited revenues being brought in...need to rightsize.

Mar 9, 2019 - 12:57am
TheDarkLordBigChungus, what's your opinion? Comment below:

So I'll be honest, I know little about WF's deal flow. If what you said is true, then wouldn't it be smarter to actually just fire non-performers and keep paying everyone else? Otherwise, the talent will leave and they will still be stuck with those that should be let go. Is there some logic that I'm missing with their approach?

JUST DO IT. Don't let your memes be dreams.
Mar 9, 2019 - 9:34am
motley_accrual, what's your opinion? Comment below:

So if we're concerned about employee morale generally, what do you think would look better: 30% bonus cut or laying off like 10% of your staff?

Just as a smell test though, if IB revenues are down 20%, doesn't a 30% bonus cut on average sound about right given the fact that most of the expenses in IB are going to be fixed (other than the obvious bonuses)?

Mar 12, 2019 - 10:29am
LeeDevlin, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Ditto on this strange concept. Probably comes from a positive minded place of "let's all be on one team working towards the same goal", but Wells kind of bungled this and for some reason attached it to incentive comp.

Mar 12, 2019 - 10:43am
Edwardo123, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yeah doesn't make sense, does it? A quick example, so when I worked in Silicon Valley, a number of TMT commercial bankers were on my floor...you know, the folks that went after your startups for VC capital deposits and such. Uber, Tesla etc. The TMT guys were consistently crushing their goals...100%+ over target 3-4 years running. BUT, because they were in the same umbrella Corporate banking group as the oil and gas guys who wayyyy overreached pre-2014 and were hemorrhaging losses when crude dropped, everyone in corporate banking, including the TMT guys, were getting half of their expected bonus.

After a couple of years of this, everyone good enough left and the ones that remained, well...

Mar 9, 2019 - 10:00am
Vincejackrox, what's your opinion? Comment below:

First year at Wells, and I enjoy working here. I don't know what the typical bonus looks like, but I received a 5% bonus. It's not amazing, but it's better than nothing. I work in MMB.

Mar 11, 2019 - 7:56am
CreditAnalyst85, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The unfortunate fact is whether or not this is exactly accurate or not, generally speaking this is the future of the industry. On the S&T side you will need drastically less people and older folks are clinging as long as they can and paying themselves before others. In banking, rising rates over time will make it more difficult for the lower credit worthy companies to get financing and therefore push down M&A, refinancing, etc and drive less revenue to that department. It's a very mature industry ripe for streamlining and this is long overdue.... you're "lucky" if you're still around getting bagel'd rather than fired with often limited transferable skill sets. I find it very interesting Wall Street has been championing how smart they are by making things more efficient, reducing cost, identifying synergies, and cutting the fat... yet it couldn't do it within its own companies for so long.

Mar 11, 2019 - 10:32pm
high hopes, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You work in S&T and don't know shit about M&A.

Rising rates won't prevent or deter it, things are cyclical and bottom tier, overlevered companies will get picked off.

Mar 11, 2019 - 8:40am
NYCBB, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The problem is they have a lot of legacy VPs and Directors who do nothing and are not good at their job taking a lot of the pay. For years Wells hadn't fired anyone and even in IB it's unbelievably difficult, talk about deadweight. I heard this year was different and there would be some firings and 0 bonus handed out.

Mar 13, 2019 - 4:22pm
HowlerMonkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Mar 15, 2019 - 1:39pm
ThePiker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Jun 11, 2019 - 9:12pm
Sneakerhead0006, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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