New Rules for Expungement of Certain Broker Check Complaints

Posted On: December 20, 2011 by Ralph Behr, Esq

December 2011 may be a watershed date in the battle for fairness for stockbrokers. Constantly barraged by complaints, which are often no more than attempted extortion, the FINRA board may make some rule changes. It's a modest beginning; but it's a start. The proposal would amend the arbitration procedures adopting rules for expunction of consumer complaints for parties that are not named. You need to read that again: the new rules, and I'm quoting from a FINRA press release, better yet I'll just let you read it: “….new rules that would permit persons who are the "subject of" allegations of sales practice violations made in arbitration claims, but who are not named as parties to the arbitration, to seek expungement relief by initiating In re expungement proceedings. “ Albeit not a breakthrough….. it does represent the first of what should be many steps towards a level playing field in fairness for brokers who are the victim of consumer complaints that are little more than money-grabs. It needs to be done so that the true purpose of Broker Check, that is to apprise the public of financial advisors who are performing below standard, can be identified fairly without maligning the entire industry. More news will follow as we move forward toward Broker Check becoming a meaningful vehicle for the general public to become aware of broker malfeasance.