For Wells Fargo, the Hits Just Keep on Coming

Wells FargoYou can add FINRA to the list of regulators with which Wells Fargo may be in trouble as a result of the bank’s unauthorized accounts scandal.

Three U.S. senators sent a letter to the new head of Wells Fargo Nov. 3 asking about the accuracy of regulatory filings made by the bank on employees fired for creating unauthorized accounts.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) raised questions about the accuracy of bank filings with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in their letter to Tim Sloan, who replaced John Stumpf as CEO after the scandal broke.

Wells Fargo is required to file a Form U5 when an employee is terminated or otherwise leaves the company. The senators noted that new information obtained from FINRA revealed that from 2011 to 2015, the bank filed more than 200 U5 reports with the self-regulatory body for employees who were fired for actions related to the unauthorized accounts scandal.

According to the senators,

Currently available information suggests that the bank may have filed defamatory statements to retaliate against employees who questioned aggressive cross-selling practices and that those negative statements often dealt serious blows to the employees' careers. If Wells Fargo submitted false or incomplete information about the fired employees in its mandatory disclosures to FINRA, the bank may have violated FINRA rules and misled regulators about the scope of the fraud.

Being listed on a negative Form U5, as the senators allude to, can have serious consequences for the former employee.  The letter cites to media interviews with several former Wells Fargo employees who have had difficulty finding employment in the banking industry since being terminated by the bank.

The senators list 10 specific questions they want answered by Dec. 5 related to the Form U5 filings.

To read more about the senators’ letter, see Senators Ask Wells Fargo CEO About Filings on Employee Terminations.