Wells Fargo Shareholders Move for Class Certification in Consent Order Compliance Lawsuit

The lead plaintiffs in securities litigation involving Wells Fargo & Company filed a motion for class certification on Monday in the Southern District of New York. Specifically, the motion seeks class certification, appointment of the lead plaintiffs as class representatives, and appointment of Bernstein Litowitz and Cohen Milstein as class counsel.

The suit alleges that the defendants’ made “misstatements to investors concerning Wells Fargo’s purported compliance with three consent orders that the Bank was required to enter into… to rectify systemic and egregious corporate mismanagement and fraud.” The plaintiffs assert that the deceptive conduct committed by Wells Fargo harmed both them and the class, making class certification the best way to rectify the claims.

Wells Fargo’s alleged misconduct is detailed in the motion for class certification. The bank made representations to the class that they were complying with their obligations under the aforementioned consent orders and executing the necessary plans. Even though the company told their investors this, the motion asserts that “regulators were privately telling Wells Fargo that the Bank’s compliance plans were so “materially incomplete” and “insufficient” that the regulators could not even review them.” Throughout 2019 and 2020, the true information behind the Bank’s compliance failures came to light and led to significant declines in the stock price for Wells Fargo.

The plaintiffs explain in their motion for class certification that the securities fraud suit is “ideally suited for class certification because it arises from common public misrepresentations and omissions that harmed tens of thousands of investors in a like manner.” The motion further contends that the suit satisfies numerosity and typicality requirements, involves many common issues of law and fact, and more.

The original complaint, filed in 2020 against Wells Fargo, Charles W. Scharf, Timothy J. Sloan, and John R. Shrewsberry, cites two counts for violations of the Exchange Act.

The plaintiffs in the suit are represented by Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, and Lowey Dannenberg. Wells Fargo and its officers are represented by Sullivan & Cromwell.