Wells Fargo seems determined to rebuild the trust it believes its clients once had. This monumental effort comes following reports that the bank administration forced its sales team to perform illegal and unethical practices, jeopardizing the wealth of many in Tennessee and across the country. Recently, however, new reports are emerging that the bank has violated its fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, also known as ERISA.
The Department of Labor is investigating claims recently made by a whistleblower. Allegedly, Wells Fargo pushed expensive retirement accounts and investment funds on those customers interested in retirement planning. Employees of the bank were apparently urged to take the 401(k)s of retiring workers and move them to higher priced individual retirement accounts.
Wells Fargo employees were offered bonuses for convincing clients to invest their IRA assets into front-end loaded Wells Fargo funds. The fees for these funds came directly and immediately from the customers' assets, producing more income for Wells Fargo at the expense of the customer. ERISA law states that the fiduciaries of a client's retirement accounts have a primary duty to protect the client's interests before seeking their own profits.
When the fiduciary of an account fails to provide the kind of protection and management required by ERISA, it may lead to devastating financial loss. The worst time to discover that one's retirement account is not performing the way it should be is when that person is ready to retire. Seeking justice with the help of a Tennessee attorney may allow one to stay on track for retirement.
Source: pymnts.com, "Wells Fargo Settles Sales Scandal Lawsuit", May 7, 2018