Missing link: Inside N26 – Hire & Fire, sick work schedule and breakdowns

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Former and current N26 employees, who spoke to heise online on condition of anonymity, tell a chilling story about Neobank’s corporate and work culture. In the area of ​​customer service in particular, the Berlin-based company awarded almost only short-term contracts for a long time in order to be able to quickly get rid of the employees. Motivating employees would have been an alien concept and the burden was enormous. The business is only alive, it is said, “because many users never contact customer service.”


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According to personal testimonies, the management runs the direct bank, founded in 2013, like a start-up, when it should have long since passed its infancy. Much of it is also technically knitted with a hot needle. In addition, there is always the fear of losing the all-important banking license due to repeated mistakes such as preventing money laundering. In principle, BaFin’s supervisory requirements are strict, so that after a few warnings it can be quickly terminated. There is also a threat of a stricter ban on accepting money from new customers and other hefty fines.

Internally, a lot of things are out of control, one of the employees who is no longer employed – let’s call him Karl – got the impression. Even senior executives do not really know the procedures of the financial system and have no idea how a bank works. Relationships are more in demand for advancement than for know-how: “It’s a mystery that it works one way or another.

Until it was possible to set up a works council against senior management resistance in the summer of 2020, no colleague he knew in the customer service field had a permanent contract, was Karl remembers. Longer appointments were only accepted at the management level. The very day of the election of the new employee representation, the company fired him. His manager had reassured him two months earlier: the situation was good, there was no reason not to extend the contract. He would have been employed on a permanent basis, because after two years it is no longer possible to agree to a short period again.

“In order to evolve, I applied internally for many positions, specifies the Geschasst. “But they were all supposedly already taken.” No wonder, since his team leader occupied everything around him with friends and nepotism was part of the corporate culture in many areas. Internal job postings would often only have been open for an hour or two. In the end, he was also blamed for poor customer ratings. Typically, however, they came from scammers “who couldn’t open an account or who didn’t like N26”. This is anything but an isolated case: “They repeatedly laid off hundreds of people after two years at the latest. “

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