FINRA opens hotline for former Wells Fargo registered reps
FINRA is reaching out to former Wells Fargo registered reps who were terminated as a result of the bank's fake account-opening scandal.
The regulator has created a dedicated phone line and an email address for former reps who believe their Form U5 filings contained inaccurate or incomplete information or were otherwise mishandled. The required regulatory notices are filed by employers when reps are terminated and provide reasons for the discharge.
Since the scandal broke in September, the bank has been hit with at least two lawsuits by former employees alleging that they were either demoted, retaliated against, or terminated for failing to engage in what they viewed as unlawful sales practices. The two lawsuits were filed in California, each seeking class-action status.
Of the 5,300 workers fired for opening unauthorized accounts, more than 600 were registered at various times with Wells Fargo Advisors as registered reps, according to FINRA data.
FINRA is concerned that registered reps who lost their jobs may not have received a copy of their Form U5 termination notice within 30 days of being terminated, as required by FINRA rules. It is also concerned that Wells Fargo may have given inaccurate or incomplete reasons for their termination on their Form U5.
FINRA opened the hotline four days after Wells Fargo was supposed to have provided FINRA with data regarding its U5 notices, including a statistical summary of the reasons stated as the grounds for dismissal.
Former reps can contact FINRA at 800-334-0668 or email the regulator at U5review@finra.org. The phone line and email address will be available through early March.
Tim Sloan acknowledged that there may have been instances in which employee complaints related to the bank's cross-selling practices may have been mishandled.
The firm also asked for the suits filed in federal court to be thrown out.
A planner's lawsuit claims the bank improperly funneled $3 billion into its own target-date funds.