(Bloomberg) — A Florida pension fund is demanding Wells Fargo & Co. flip over recordsdata a couple of doable felony probe into whether or not the financial institution violated federal regulation by establishing pretend job interviews to satisfy in-house range pointers.
The request in a Delaware lawsuit is tied to experiences within the New York Occasions final 12 months that federal prosecutors are investigating the financial institution over claims managers in its wealth-management division organized job interviews for black and feminine candidates for already-filled positions.
Legal professionals for the Pompano Seaside Normal Workers Retirement System, which holds Wells Fargo inventory, mentioned Monday it desires the recordsdata “to analyze doable breaches of fiduciary obligation” tied to the pretend interviews, in accordance with Delaware Chancery Court docket filings.
Wells Fargo officers declined to touch upon the fund’s doc calls for, however mentioned the corporate stays dedicated to its range objectives.
“Our numerous slate pointers for hiring, that are a greatest observe throughout many industries, are supposed to, and have contributed to, measurable will increase in numerous illustration throughout the corporate,” Laurie Kight, an organization spokeswoman, mentioned in an emailed assertion.
The financial institution has been coping with a sequence of scandals and regulatory points for years, and is working beneath a progress cap imposed by the US Federal Reserve.
In 2020, the San Francisco-based financial institution paid $3 billion to resolve felony and civil claims over allegations workers opened tens of millions of financial savings and checking accounts within the names of precise prospects, with out their information, to get bonuses. The financial institution’s former CEO — John Stumpf – was fined $17.5 million for his function within the scandal.
The pension fund’s grievance over the job interviews is a so-called books and information motion, demanding paperwork that can be utilized as fodder for fits towards Wells Fargo executives or administrators for breaching their duties to traders.
In 2020, Wells Fargo officers launched an effort to beef up range in hiring practices after paying about $8 million to resolve US Labor Division claims it discriminated towards greater than 30,000 black job candidates for positions in banking, gross sales and different roles.
However Wells Fargo workers tipped off federal prosecutors final 12 months that managers within the financial institution’s wealth-advisory models had been conducting sham interviews to satisfy inside range mandates, in accordance with the New York Occasions.
The case is Pompano Seaside Normal Workers Retirement System v. Wells Fargo & Co., 2023-0656, Delaware Chancery Court docket (Wilmington).