NEW YORK, June 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pomerantz LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Wells Fargo & Company (“Wells Fargo” or the “Company”) (WFC) and certain of its officers. The class action, filed in United States District Court for the Northern District of California, and indexed under 20-cv-03697, is on behalf of a class consisting of all persons and entities other than Defendants who purchased or otherwise acquired Wells Fargo securities between April 5, 2020, and May 5, 2020, both dates inclusive (the “Class Period”), seeking to recover damages caused by Defendants’ violations of the federal securities laws and to pursue remedies under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, against the Company and certain of its top officials.
If you are a shareholder who purchased Wells Fargo securities during the class period, you have until August 3, 2020, to ask the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class. A copy of the Complaint can be obtained at www.pomerantzlaw.com. To discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll-free, Ext. 7980. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone number, and the number of shares purchased.
Wells Fargo is a diversified financial services company that provides banking, investment, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance products and services to individuals, businesses, and institutions in the U.S. and internationally.
On April 5, 2020, Wells Fargo announced that it had received strong interest in the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), a program under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), and was targeting to distribute a total of $10 billion to small business customers under the requirements of the PPP.
On April 8, 2020, the Federal Reserve announced that it would allow Wells Fargo to exceed the asset cap that it had imposed on Wells Fargo in 2018 after revelations that the Company had opened millions of accounts in customers’ names without their permission, a change which would allow Wells Fargo to make additional small business loans as part of the PPP.
That same day, Wells Fargo issued a press release stating, in relevant part, that, “beginning immediately, in response to the actions by the Federal Reserve, [Wells Fargo] will expand its participation in the [PPP] and offer loans to a broader set of its small business and nonprofit customers subject to the terms of the program.”
The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about Wells Fargo’s business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants failed to disclose to investors that: (i) Wells Fargo planned to, and did, improperly allocate government-backed loans under the PPP, and/or had inadequate controls in place to prevent such misallocation; (ii) the foregoing foreseeably increased the Company’s litigation risk with respect to PPP allocation, as well as increased regulatory scrutiny and/or potential enforcement actions; and (iii) as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
On April 19, 2020, after at least one lawsuit was filed against the Company, reports emerged that Wells Fargo may have unfairly allocated government-backed loans under the PPP. For example, USA Today reported that “[t]he lawsuit filed on behalf of small business owners on Sunday alleges that Wells Fargo unfairly prioritized businesses seeking large loan amounts, while the government’s small business agency has said that PPP loan applications would be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.” According to the lawsuit, “[t]he move by Wells Fargo meant that the bank would receive millions more dollars in processing fees,” and, “[m]aking matters worse, Wells Fargo concealed from the public that it was reshuffling the PPP applications it received and prioritizing the applications that would make the bank the most money.”
Following this news, Wells Fargo’s stock price fell more than 5% over two trading days to close at $26.84 per share on April 21, 2020.
Finally, on May 5, 2020, Wells Fargo filed a quarterly report on Form 10-Q with the Securities and Exchange Commission, disclosing, in addition to multiple PPP-related lawsuits initiated against the Company, that Wells Fargo had “received formal and informal inquiries from federal and state governmental agencies regarding its offering of PPP loans.”
Following this news, Wells Fargo’s stock price fell by more than 6% over two trading days from its closing price on May 4, 2020, closing at $25.61 per share on May 6, 2020.
The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Paris, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See www.pomerantzlaw.com
Robert S. Willoughby