Daily Archives: December 13, 2016

Billionaire ‘King of Bankruptcies’ to Head Commerce Under Trump

NEP’s Bill Black appears on The Real News Network. “Despite promises to ‘drain the swamp,’ Trump chose a man for Deputy Secretary of Commerce who enriched himself at expense of labor and consumers and shipped jobs overseas.”

Finra sets up hotline for fired Wells Fargo brokers

The brokerage industry’s self-regulator has asked employees fired by Wells Fargo & Co. WFC, -2.38%   and stripped of their securities registrations to come forward if they have concerns over their treatment, the latest sign of growing scrutiny on the bank.

The request from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or Finra, comes as lawmakers question whether Wells Fargo wrongfully fired employees who pushed back on questionable sales practices and sometimes mischaracterized their behavior on their industry records.

In response to an inquiry by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), Ron Wyden (D., Ore.), and Bob Menendez (D., N.J.), Finra has said that more than 600 Wells Fargo employees fired during the five-year period that encompassed the bank’s cross-selling scandal had received termination filings known as Form U5s. Such forms document the reasons for the dismissal of brokerage employees, and negative justifications can hinder an adviser from gaining employment elsewhere in the industry.

Last month, Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) asked Finra to expedite its review of broker firings, writing that “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.”

Read on.

Wells Fargo Faces California, New Jersey Probes Over Sales

Wells Fargo & Co. is under investigation by regulators in California and New Jersey to determine whether the bank signed up customers for Prudential Financial Inc. life policies without their permission.

The announcements Monday by regulators followed fraud and misconductallegations raised last week in a whistle-blower lawsuit claiming the insurer covered up an internal inquiry that found San Francisco-based Wells Fargo may have fraudulently opened Prudential’s low-cost MyTerm policies. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said that his department will work with New Jersey watchdogs to examine “all aspects” of the allegations, and that Prudential’s practices will be investigated as well.

“We’ll be looking at whether there were any licensing violations associated with” Wells Fargo’s sales, Jones said Monday in a phone interview. “We’ll also be looking at whether they violated the law by allegedly signing people up for insurance without their permission.”

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Prudential stops distribution of policy sold through Wells Fargo

U.S. insurer Prudential Financial Inc (>> Prudential Financial Inc) said on Monday it had suspended the distribution of a low-cost life insurance policy through Wells Fargo & Co (>> Wells Fargo & Co), pending a review of how the product was sold by the bank.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones told Reuters on Monday he had ordered an investigation into allegations, the latest regarding Wells Fargo’s sales practices, that retail bankers signed up customers for life insurance policies from Prudential without their permission.

The New Jersey Division of Insurance is also investigating, according to a Prudential spokesman and a news release from Jones’s office. Spokesmen for the New Jersey office had no immediate comment.

The allegations are part of a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by three former managers in Prudential’s corporate investigation division. The lawsuit was filed in New Jersey state court last week.
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