Washington, DC — The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today that it is seeking authority to significantly expand the amount of information available to the public on current and former securities brokers through its free online BrokerCheck service.
The proposed expansion – which FINRA will submit to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the near future – would increase the number of customer complaints reported publicly; extend the public disclosure period for the full record of a broker who leaves the industry from two years to 10 years; and, make certain information about former brokers available permanently, such as criminal convictions and certain civil and arbitration judgments.
"These proposed changes will provide additional information to investors who are considering whether to conduct, or continue to conduct, business with a particular securities firm or broker," said FINRA Chairman and CEO Rick Ketchum. "Just as important, they will provide valuable information about persons who have left the securities industry, often not of their own accord, but who can still cause great harm to the investing public. Recent regulatory and criminal proceedings in the financial services sector reveal that former brokers have been engaging in fraud and other misconduct long after establishing themselves in other segments of the financial services industry."
Specifically, FINRA's proposed expansion of BrokerCheck would:
FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. Created in 2007 through the consolidation of NASD and NYSE Member Regulation, FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services. FINRA touches virtually every aspect of the securities business – from registering and educating industry participants to examining securities firms; writing rules; enforcing those rules and the federal securities laws; informing and educating the investing public; providing trade reporting and other industry utilities; and administering the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and registered firms.
For more information, please visit our Web site at www.finra.org.