Wells Fargo & Co (WFC) - Get Report will likely face more regulatory scrutiny after a bank lawyer accidentally sent former employee Gary Sinderbrand 1.4 gigabytes of files with its wealthiest clients' names, Social Security numbers, investment portfolios and fees paid to Wells, the New York Times reported.
Sinderbrand's lawyer subpoenaed Wells Fargo as part of a defamation suit against the bank for Sinderbrand's brother. But the bank "accidentally" sent Sinderbrand spreadsheets of details from a northeast branch of Wells Fargo Advisors, the arm of the bank that caters to high-net-worth investors.
Sinderbrand and his lawyer haven't filed the documents in court, but the details would become public record if Sinderbrand decides to submit them as part of the case's legal filings. There was no protective order of confidentiality to prevent the information from going public.
The disclosure could violate state and federal consumer data privacy laws. Plus, some accounts are listed under foreign owners, which could trigger overseas regulations. The bank is required by law to notify customers when their information is improperly released.
Wells Fargo stock traded slightly up early Monday afternoon.
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