Lisa Beilfuss, writing for The Wall Street Journal’s Wealth Advisor blog, reports that it’s possible Wells Fargo fired employees who spoke up about the questionable cross-selling tactics the company was employing. Additionally it appears that some of those fired may have had their reputations tarnished by negative characterizations on their industry records. Beilfuss writes:
Wells Fargo is facing increasing scrutiny over whether it wrongfully fired employees who pushed back on questionable sales practices, and sometimes mischaracterized their behavior on their industry records.
The latest salvo came from Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.), who in a letter Wednesday to the brokerage industry’s self-regulatory body asked for an expedited review process to determine whether any Wells Fargo employees were unfairly dismissed as retribution for speaking out or not cooperating with aggressive cross-selling tactics, according to the letter reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
“Wells Fargo appears to have terminated employees because they either refused to break the law, or reported unauthorized and abusive activity to their supervisors, the Wells Fargo ethics hotline or human resources,” said Mr. Casey’s letter, written to the Financial Industry Regulatory Agency.
Finra has said that more than 600 Wells Fargo employees fired during the five-year period that encompassed the retail bank’s cross-selling scandal had received termination filings known as Form U5s. These forms chronicle the reasons for the dismissal of brokerage employees, and negative justifications can hinder an adviser from gaining employment elsewhere in the industry.