Court approves suing of Wells Fargo bosses over scandal
06 Oct 2017

By Jonathan Stempel, REUTERS, 5 Ocotober 2017

A federal judge said current and former Wells Fargo & Co officers and directors, including Chief Executive Officer Tim Sloan, must face nearly all of a lawsuit by shareholders seeking to hold them personally liable for sales abuses and the creations of millions of unauthorized accounts.

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco said shareholders may pursue claims that Wells Fargo officials looked the other way as employees facing “unrelenting” pressure to meet sales quotas unlawfully opened accounts, and misled the public about fraudulent practices at the nation’s third-largest bank.

“Where, as here, plaintiffs’ claims arise from a pervasive and undisputed fraud going to the core of the company’s business, it is reasonable to infer senior executives knew about, or at least recklessly turned a blind eye to, the stream of red flags,” Tigar wrote in a decision dated Wednesday.

The judge also said that in the “unlikely” event Sloan did not know about the suspect practices before 2013, when he was chief financial officer, he was “certainly aware of these issues” by December 2013 when he told the Los Angeles Times: “I‘m not aware of any overbearing sales culture.”

Wells Fargo spokesman Peter Gilchrist said in an email that the bank was taking “decisive steps” to rebuild trust, including from employees and shareholders. “We will continue to advocate strongly for our positions before the courts,” he added.

Advance your CPD minutes for this content, by signing up and using the CPD Wallet

FREE CPD Wallet

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.