Bernstein Liebhard LLP Announces That A Suit Has Been Filed Against Wells Fargo & Co.

September 27, 2016

Bernstein Liebhard LLP today announced that a securities class action has been filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of a class (the “Class”) consisting of all persons or entities who purchased the common stock of Wells Fargo & Company (“Wells Fargo” or the “Company”) (NYSE: WFC) during the period between February 26, 2014 and September 15, 2016, inclusive (the “Class Period”).  The complaint alleges that Defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Wells Fargo is a diversified financial services company that provides retail, commercial and corporate banking services, principally in the United States.  Wells Fargo has been the envy of the banking industry for its ability to sell different products to the same customer.  During the Class Period, this “cross-selling strategy” was an important facet of Wells Fargo’s business and growth.

Plaintiff alleges that Defendants made false and misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that Wells Fargo’s cross-selling efforts to retail customers were not designed to meet customers’ financial needs or drive customer satisfaction.  Rather, the Company’s cross-selling strategy was allegedly purposefully created to generate fee income for Wells Fargo and compensation rewards for Wells Fargo employees.  Wells Fargo also failed to disclose that an ongoing internal investigation had determined by the beginning of the Class Period that employees in the Company’s Community Banking segment had engaged in a wide ranging scheme to inflate the Company’s financial performance figures by opening millions of unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts, ultimately resulting in more than 5,000 employee terminations.

On September 8, 2016, it was revealed that Wells Fargo had been fined $185 million, including $100 million by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”), which published a Consent Order detailing the Company’s deceptive practices.  In the next few days, several media outlets issued articles detailing the scandal.  The complaint alleges that as a result of these revelations, between September 8, 2016 and September 16, 2016, the Company’s stock price declined 9%, from a close of $49.90 per share on September 8, 2016 to a close of $45.43 per share on September 16, 2016, as information about Defendants’ conduct and its impact on Wells Fargo’s operations reached the market.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all Class members who invested in Wells Fargo common stock during the Class Period.  If you invested in Wells Fargo common stock as described above, and lost money on the transactions, you may wish to join in this action to serve as lead plaintiff.  In order to do so, you must meet certain requirements set forth in the applicable law and file appropriate papers no later than November 25, 2016.

A “lead plaintiff” is a representative party that acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation.  In order to be appointed lead plaintiff, the court must determine that the class member’s claim is typical of the claims of other class members, and that the class member will adequately represent the class.  Under certain circumstances, one or more class members may together serve as lead plaintiff.  Your ability to share in any recovery is not, however, affected by the decision whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff.  You may retain Bernstein Liebhard LLP, or other counsel of your choice, to serve as your counsel in this action.

If you are interested in discussing your rights as a Wells Fargo investor and/or have information relating to the matter, please contact Joseph R. Seidman, Jr. at (877) 779-1414 or seidman@bernlieb.com.

Bernstein Liebhard LLP has pursued hundreds of securities, consumer and shareholder rights cases and recovered over $3.5 billion for its clients.  The Firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s “Plaintiffs’ Hot List” thirteen times.

You can obtain a copy of the complaint from the clerk of the court for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.