A manager at American Express is in the news because she alleges that she was suspended for raising issues about the sales tactics of AMEX employees charged with sales of the company’s corporate card. Sophia Lewis and other employees say that they witness salespeople, heavily incentivized by commissions, to ignore the company’s requirement of $4 million in revenue. The applications, according to Lewis and other AMEX employees, were submitting the applications without verification of income.
If it all sounds familiar, think Wells Fargo and its new account incentives. Or think mortgage brokers during the subprime era. The more mortgages they wrote (without income verification), the more they earned. For AMEX salespeople, at $475 to $650 per application submitted, the temptation, pressure, and compensation are enough to entice even he pure among us. AMEX says Ms. Lewis was suspended for other reasons and is on medical leave. But her performance rating dropped after she reported the conduct.
Two sides to the story, but if 50% of it is true, AMEX should be investigating.