According to Jodie Papike, president of financial services recruiter Cross-Search in Encinitas, Calif., a broker-dealer firm cannot simply revise the language of a U5 without facing at least the consequence of having to explain the change. “They’re going to have to answer questions from the regulators about what’s going on. They’re going to have to go into the details of why they’re changing this,” she said.

In addition, Laurence Landsman, a founder at Chicago law firm Landsman, Saldinger & Carroll who specializes in representing advisors and brokers, said that a brokerage’s stance of never backing down is a strong signal to other employees.

“It would have been very easy to say, ‘We didn’t have all the information, and had we had it, we would have done it differently,’” Landsman said. “But firms like to send messages. They want to support their internal decision-making process. They make the cases go to trial because they’re not comfortable acknowledging they made a mistake because it’s a regulatory requirement with Finra oversight. They’re afraid. So once they make the decision, they’re going to stand by it.”

And finally, it might simply be more profitable for the firm to keep fighting it—the subtext is often about asset retention, after all.

“I think it’s safe to assume that the asset retention rate [for broker-dealers] is going to be higher [if] departing reps have a mark on their U5 as part of that departure,” said Dochtor Kennedy, the president of AdvisorLaw in Westminster, Colo. “So add up all those numbers, reduce the legal costs, reduce the damages they pay to some of the reps—I don’t care how many firms you check, I’d be blown away if you could find 1% of firms where that wasn’t profitable.”

Case in point: In October 2015, just three months after he become Credit Suisse’s new CEO, Tidjane Thiam decided the firm would ditch its U.S. wealth management team and get out of that part of the business (even though the firm reportedly still wanted to service its wealthy customers through its investment banking group). The decision meant parting ways with 292 broker-advisors. Among them were Doug Prezzano, Stewart Bosley, Heinz Jaeggi, Stefan Lendi, Eric Miller, Steven Soja and Roger Wacker.

There was just one not-so-small problem, according to Barry Lax, the attorney who represented those seven in a single group arbitration: Credit Suisse wanted to avoid paying its departing brokers hundreds of millions in deferred compensation.

“Credit Suisse made that announcement, and then the next day told their advisors they were not going to receive their deferred compensation,” said Lax, the founding partner at New York’s Lax & Neville.

But the only way this could happen was if their resignations were voluntary, he said.

“So Credit Suisse told them they would voluntarily resign,” Lax continued. “That deferred compensation was a $240 million liability they basically tried to extinguish. And Credit Suisse put it on all of the U5s that the advisors had voluntarily resigned, even though they clearly hadn’t.”