Blog by Bill Singer Esq WEEK IN REVIEW

May 27, 2023
A Wells Fargo customer wanted to name her stockbroker as a Beneficiary of her accounts. In accordance with Wells Fargo policy, the stockbroker asked the firm for permission to accept the Beneficiary designation, but the firm declined to authorize the role. About a year later, the stockbroker suggested that the customer designate as Beneficiary a friend of the stockbroker, and the customer complied. Now what?
Another day on Wall Street and another firm attempts to secure another Temporary Restraining Order against another former employee. As has been reported over the years in this blog, presented with more or less the same facts albeit in different cases, one court will grant a TRO whereas another will deny it. More often than not, it comes down to whether the applicant proves that the harm allegedly sustained is so severe as to be irreparable absent the intercession of a TRO. For some judges, that's a high bar to vault over; for others, they had a big bowl of bran flakes for breakfast and are in a dyspeptic mood.
In a recent FINRA Acceptance, Waiver and Consent regulatory settlement, it was alleged that despite the fact that the Respondent registered representative was aware that he had been charged with two felonies, and, further, that he had discussed those charges with his brokerage firm's supervisors, he did not timely amend his Form U4 to disclose the charges. FINRA did not allege that the non-disclosures were willful. That's great news for the rep. Unfortunately, for those who labor in the industry's compliance departments and render legal services, FINRA's benevolence doesn't make sense in light of the fact pattern. Some explanation by the self-regulatory-organization was warranted. None was forthcoming.