NEW YORK, Sept. 22, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lowey Dannenberg P.C. announces the filing of a class action lawsuit against Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) (“DFS” or the “Company”) for violations of the federal securities laws on behalf of a class consisting of all persons and entities other than Defendants that purchased or otherwise acquired DFS common stock between February 21, 2019 and August 14, 2023, both dates inclusive (the “Class Period”).
On September 1, 2023, a complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against DFS and certain officers. The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operations, and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) DFS maintained deficient risk management and compliance procedures; (ii) as a result of the foregoing deficiencies, the Company had, inter alia, failed to comply with applicable student loan servicing standards, misclassified certain credit card accounts, overcharged customers, and failed to stem its ballooning credit card delinquency rate; (iii) the foregoing issues, when they became known would subject DFS to significant financial exposure, regulatory scrutiny, and reputational harm; and (iv) as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
On July 20, 2022, DFS issued a press release announcing its financial results for the second quarter of 2022. Among other items, DFS disclosed that it “is suspending until further notice its existing share repurchase program because of an internal investigation relating to its student loan servicing practices and related compliance matters.” The Company also advised that “[t]he investigation is ongoing and is being conducted by a board-appointed independent special committee.”
On this news, DFS’s stock price fell $9.80 per share, or 8.93%, to close at $100 per share on July 21, 2022.
On July 19, 2023, DFS issued a press release announcing its financial results for the second quarter of 2023. Among other items, DFS disclosed that it has misclassified certain credit card products over an approximate 15-year period as a result of an acknowledged compliance failure. Specifically, DFS disclosed that it had incorrectly classified certain credit card accounts into its highest merchant and merchant acquirer pricing tier, beginning around mid-2007. In addition, the Company disclosed receipt of a proposed consent order from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in connection with an unrelated regulatory matter.
On this news, DFS’s stock price fell $19.40 per share, or 15.92%, to close at $102.45 per share on July 20, 2023.
On August 14, 2023, DFS issued a press release announcing that its Board of Directors (the “Board”) and Defendant Roger C. Hochschild (“Hochschild”) “have agreed that Hochschild will step down as Chief Executive Officer and President and as a member of the Board,” effective immediately. Notably, the same press release also quoted DFS’s quoted DFS’s Chair of the Board, who assured investors that “[t]he Board is continuously focused on Discover reaching its full potential across the business, including our commitment to enhancing compliance, risk management and corporate governance.”
That same day, in an exhibit to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, DFS also disclosed that its credit card delinquency rate increased to 3.00% for the 24-month period ended July 31, 2023, as compared to 2.86% for the 24-month period ended June 31, 2023. As reported by Seeking Alpha that day, the Company’s credit card delinquency rate now stood at a higher level than the pre-pandemic rate of 2.37% in July 2019.
Then, on August 15, 2023, Seeking Alpha published an article reporting on analyst speculation that Defendant Hochschild’s resignation was directly tied to DFS’s recently reported regulatory and risk oversight issues.
Following these developments, DFS’s stock price fell $9.69 per share, or 9.44%, to close at $92.96 per share on August 15, 2023.
Finally, on August 17, 2023, during an earnings call hosted by DFS, the Company’s top officers acknowledged that it was “paying the price” for past underinvestment in compliance, stressing that Defendant Hochschild’s abrupt departure reflected a commitment to moving past regulatory troubles, thereby validating previously reported analyst suspicions on the matter.
If you suffered a loss greater than $100,000 in DFS’s common stock, and wish to participate, or learn more, please contact our attorneys at (914) 733-7256 or via email to Andrea Farah (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Alesandra Greco (email@example.com).
Any investor who wishes to serve as Lead Plaintiff must act before October 31, 2023.
About Lowey Dannenberg
Lowey Dannenberg is a national firm representing institutional and individual investors, who suffered financial losses resulting from corporate fraud and malfeasance in violation of federal securities and antitrust laws. The firm has significant experience in prosecuting multi-million-dollar lawsuits and has previously recovered billions of dollars on behalf of investors.
Lowey Dannenberg P.C.
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Tel: (914) 733-7256