As reported by Reuters, Lieff Cabraser has filed a class action lawsuit against global financial services company Credit Suisse Group accusing it of withholding up to $300 million of pay from U.S. brokers. The plaintiffs allege that Credit Suisse cancelled deferred compensation owed to brokers who elected not to move to Wells Fargo under a recruiting agreement between the banks after Credit Suisse closed down its private banking unit in 2015.
The plaintiffs’ complaint argues that Credit Suisse knew many brokers would choose not to join Wells Fargo because that bank’s business and client base were different. “Credit Suisse should not be able to avoid its obligation to compensate the advisers fully and fairly by claiming they ‘resigned’ when, in fact, Credit Suisse simply ceased operating this business,” the complaint states.
In addition brokers “were told if you went to Wells you could keep your deferred compensation, and if not you were out of luck,” notes Lieff Cabraser partner Robert J. Nelson, one of the attorneys bringing the case.
The proposed class action complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, seeks justice and compensation for approximately 200 affected U.S. brokers.
The case is Laver v. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, N.D. Cal., No. 18-00828. Visit the Credit Suisse Deferred Broker Compensation lawsuit page to learn more. If you are a broker who has experienced Credit Suisse withholding your compensation, we welcome the opportunity to speak with you about your case.