Wells Fargo announced its Board of Directors is reviewing whether the firm made inappropriate referrals or recommendations in regards to 401(k) plan participants, alternative investments, or other referrals related to Wells Fargo's Wealth and Investment Management business.
The specific 401(k) recommendations under review concern rollovers of 401(k) plans into individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and follows a Department of Justice and SEC joint investigation into Wells Fargo Wealth Management for potentially unsuitable investments and self-dealing.
In the DOJ and SEC probe, federal investigators will seek to determine whether Wells Fargo improperly incentivized brokers—without adequate disclosure to its customers—to sell in-house products that were more profitable for the firm at the expense of investors, and, in doing so, breached its fiduciary duty to firm customers.
401(k) rollovers comprise one of several products and recommendations listed in the federal investigation, alongside alternative assets, estates, and trusts.
In addition to reviewing whether rollover recommendations for 401(k) plan participants and certain other brokerage customers were suitable, Wells Fargo disclosed that it is reviewing fee calculations within certain fiduciary and custody accounts in its investment business, and admitted that the firm has found evidence of incorrect fees being applied to certain accounts, resulting in overcharges.
Wells Fargo announced the internal investigations in a recent filing with the SEC.
If you have invested within the Wells Fargo & Company family of financial services (such as Wells Fargo Advisors, Wells Fargo Wealth Management, or Wells Fargo Securities) and were unsuitably recommended to rollover your 401(k) into an IRA account, or to buy in-house products that were profitable to the firm at your expense, such as through the incurrence of a tax penalty, excessive fees, or other financial harm to your investments or interests, please call The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.