January 16, 2013
WASHINGTON — The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today the launch of a pilot program offering parties in simplified cases pro bono or reduced-fee telephone mediation. Participation in the pilot program, which began on January 15, is voluntary and open to cases involving claims of $50,000 or less.
Linda Fienberg, President of FINRA Dispute Resolution, said, "Telephone mediation is a lower-cost alternative, and would benefit dispute resolution forum users in many ways. Besides eliminating the travel and preparation costs typically associated with in-person mediation, telephonic mediation offers greater convenience and flexibility, and is a practical alternative for all parties involved."
Parties interested in participating in the pilot can notify FINRA by visiting www.finra.org/arbitrationmediation/smallclaims. Also, FINRA staff will notify eligible parties about the pilot program.
Mediators would serve on a pro bono basis on cases involving claims of $25,000 or less in damages. Reduced-fee mediation ($50 per hour) would be available on cases with damage claims between $25,000.01 and $50,000. FINRA will not charge any administrative fee for these cases.
FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. 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 all 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 firms. For more information, please visit www.finra.org.