Litigation: The SEC continues to play the enforcer

Recent enforcement action against Wells Fargo should remind companies to communicate

Last year, the SEC brought more enforcement actions than ever before. This year, the agency picked up right where it left off. The SEC tallied another one this week, filing an enforcement action against Wells Fargo that, even by SEC standards, seems particularly aggressive, in part because its premise is so basic: the alleged failure by Wells Fargo to fully respond to six document subpoenas issued by the SEC.

The SEC now seeks an order from the Northern District of California compelling the bank to turn over the information. Although it is unclear how, precisely, an issue over the production of documents reached this level, one thing is abundantly clear: when faced with document subpoenas from regulators, ongoing communication and transparency is essential.

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Matthew Ingber

Matthew Ingber is a litigation partner at Mayer Brown.

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