Category Archives: Compliance

Wells Fargo, again

“Wells Fargo Gets New Warning,” The Wall Street Journal, November 30, 2017 B1.  Feds may take enforcement action over the company’s auto-insurance and mortgage operations.

Will the shoes ever stop dropping at Wells Fargo?  Once you are shown to be non-compliant, do you get stuck under the regulatory microscope?

How’s that suit against the directors going?

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Filed under Board, Compliance, Compliance, Compliance Verification, Controls, Corporation, Culture, Directors, Duty, Duty of Care, Employees, Governance, Internal controls, Oversight, Oversight

Breach at PayPal

“PayPal Discloses Breach At Its TIO Unit,” The Wall Street Journal, December 2, 2017 B11.  Upwards of 1.6 million users affected at newly acquired company that has kiosks in retail stores.

When you acquire a company, make sure their cybersecurity is up to snuff.  From Day One.

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Wells Fargo, continued, again

“Wells Fargo Bankers, Chasing Bonuses, Overcharged Clients,” The Wall Street Journal, November 28, 2017 A1.  Only 35 of 300 companies had been charged only what they had agreed to.  Four foreign-exchange bankers fired.

Who is surprised?  The culture at the company was potentially fatally defective.

Why hasn’t the Board been held liable?  The directors utterly failed in their fiduciary duties.

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Another one bites the dust

“Steinhoff’s CEO Resigns Amid Accounting Probe,” The Wall Street Journal December 7, 2017 B3.  Off-balance sheet accounting leads to resignation of CEO of parent company of Sleepy’s (a mattress brand), and a drop of 62% in share value.

Where was the Board?  Where were the auditors?  Trying out the company product?

Who pays the price of management’s failure?

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Keeping secrets

“SEC Accuses Long Island Town of Fraud,” The Wall Street Journal, November 24, 2017 B11.  SEC alleges town failed to tell bondholders about special loan deals.  Town feels victimized, as the town board didn’t know of the special deals.

If you have a duty to disclose certain information, and don’t disclose it, that is called either “failure to disclose” or “fraud.”  Or a failure of management.  There are certain things that, as a director, you are supposed to know.

Board members are fiduciaries.

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After a Whistleblower

“Whistleblower Alert Scrutinized,” The Wall Street Journal, November 24, 2017 B6.  A year ago, the CEO gets a letter from an employee saying the company is committing fraud by overstating some metrics.  Investors are later told the allegations are without merit, and invest $500 million.  Now the investors are suing.  We’re told that that suit is without merit, even though it looks like some metrics were overstated.

How do you handle continuing to operate your business after a whistleblower puts you on notice of potential wrongdoing?  What audiences do you need to communicate with?  Shareholders, government regulators, lenders, employees, others?  What can you say without stumbling over an inconvenient truth or two?

 

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Trending

“Fidelity Is Hit by Employee Conduct Problems, The Wall Street Journal October 23, 2017 A1.  Several high-level employees canned following sexual harassment allegations.

Who knew Harvey W. would start a trend that reached beyond entertainment into high-finance?

Did these companies not have policies against sexual harassment and bullying?  Had compliance with the policies been audited?  What’s the compliance history?

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