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2021 Dispute Resolution Statistics

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Virtual Arbitration Hearing Statistics Through December

Contested Motions for Virtual Hearings Granted Denied Open Total
Customer 228 (61%) 145 (39%) 8 381
Intra-Industry 106 (75%) 36 (25%) 4 146
Total Customer and Intra-Industry 334 (65%) 181 (35%) 12 527

Since the postponement of in-person hearings, and as of December 31, 635 arbitration cases have conducted one or more hearings via Zoom (269 customer cases and 366 industry cases).

There are 492 total joint motions for virtual hearings. (209 in customer cases and 283 in industry cases).

Arbitration Statistics Through December

Year New Case Filings Cases Closed Open Cases Turnaround Time (in months)
2021 Total: 2,893
Customer: 1,895 (66%)
Intra-Industry: 998 (34%)
4,029 3,916 Overall*: 15.4
Regular Hearing Decisions: 18.1
Special Proceeding Decisions: 8.8
Paper Decisions: 5.1
2020 Total: 3,902
Customer: 2,081 (53%)
Intra-Industry: 1,821 (47%)
3,564 5,138 Overall*: 14.5
Regular Hearing Decisions: 14.7
Special Proceeding Decisions: 7.1
Paper Decisions: 5.4
2019 Total: 3,757
Customer: 2,363 (63%)
Intra-Industry: 1,394 (37%)
4,011 4,808 Overall*: 14.2
Regular Hearing Decisions: 16.9
Special Proceeding Decisions: 7.0
Paper Decisions: 5.8
2021 vs 2020 Total: -26%
Customer: -9%
Intra-Industry: -45%
+13% -24%  Overall*: +6%
Regular Hearing Decisions: +23%
Special Proceeding Decisions: +24%
Paper Decisions: -6%

* Includes cases closed for any reason.

Historical Statistics for Cases Filed and Closed 

Year Cases Filed Cases Closed
2021 2,893 4,029
2020 3,902 3,564
2019 3,757 4,011
2018 4,325 3,756
2017 3,456 3,735
2016 3,681 3,635
Year Cases Filed Cases Closed
2015 3,435 3,489
2014 3,822 3,838
2013 3,714 4,498
2012 4,299 4,877
2011 4,729 6,099
2010 5,680 6,241
Year Cases Filed Cases Closed
2009 7,137 4,571
2008 4,982 3,757
2007 3,238 5,345
2006 4,614 7,212
2005 6,074 9,043
2004 8,201 9,209

Top 15 Controversy Types in Customer Arbitrations

A single arbitration case may include multiple controversy types.

Controversy   2021 Cases served 2020 2019 2018 2017
Breach of Fiduciary Duty Through December 1,445 1,714 2,053 2,290 1,899
Year-End -- 1,714 2,053 2,290 1,899
Negligence Through December 1,371 1,592 1,826 1,974 1,662
Year-End -- 1,592 1,826 1,974 1,662
Failure to Supervise Through December 1,218 1,433 1,731 1,935 1,621
Year-End -- 1,433 1,731 1,935 1,621
Misrepresentation Through December 1,181 1,384 1,688 1,775 1,663
Year-End -- 1,384 1,688 1,775 1,663
Breach of Contract Through December 1,110 1,292 1,563 1,711 1,318
Year-End -- 1,292 1,563 1,711 1,318
Suitability Through December 1,071 1,220 1,580 1,779 1,606
Year-End -- 1,220 1,580 1,779 1,606
Omission of Facts Through December 958 1,215 1,468 1,547 1,493
Year-End -- 1,215 1,468 1,547 1,493
Fraud Through December 744 918 1,499 1,707 1,389
Year-End -- 918 1,499 1,707 1,389
Violation of Blue Sky Laws Through December 355 338 657 810 547
Year-End -- 338 657 810 547
Manipulation Through December 285 316 384 302 299
Year-End -- 316 384 302 299
Elder Abuse Through December 162 172 207 216 61
Year-End -- 172 207 216 61
Unauthorized Trading Through December 160 190 197 245 263
Year-End -- 190 197 245 263
Errors-charges Through December 127 102 98 81 66
Year-End -- 102 98 81 66
Churning Through December 112 115 167 205 219
Year-End -- 115 167 205 219
Execution Error Through December 84 91 51 75 53
Year-End -- 91 51 75 53

Top 15 Security Types in Customer Arbitrations

A single arbitration case may include multiple security types.

Security   2021 Cases served 2020 2019 2018 2017
Common Stock Through December 433 385 436 579 604
Year-End -- 385 436 579 604
Real Estate Investment Trust Through December 429 421 236 205 177
Year-End -- 421 236 205 177
Business Development Company Through December 177 218 26 20 14
Year-End -- 218 26 20 14
Private Equities Through December 161 213 149 111 111
Year-End -- 213 149 111 111
Mutual Funds Through December 161 177 526 731 447
Year-End -- 177 526 731 447
Options Through December 157 180 204 150 127
Year-End -- 180 204 150 127
Limited Partnerships Through December 134 146 128 144 183
Year-End -- 146 128 144 183
Annuities Through December 98 93 97 101 115
Year-End -- 93 97 101 115
Exchange-Traded Funds Through December 76 95 138 167 131
Year-End -- 95 138 167 131
Variable Annuities Through December 75 95 109 105 129
Year-End -- 95 109 105 129
Municipal Bond Funds Through December 57 136 717 959 558
Year-End -- 136 717 959 558
Corporate Bonds Through December 57 79 74 135 119
Year-End -- 79 74 135 119
Municipal Bonds Through December 51 148 702 971 565
Year-End -- 148 702 971 565
401(k) Through December 41 73 58 94 69
Year-End -- 73 58 94 69
Hedge Fund Through December 34 19 13 21 16
Year-End -- 19 13 21 16

Top 15 Controversy Types in Intra-Industry Arbitrations

A single arbitration case may include multiple controversy types.

CONTROVERSY   2021 Cases Served 2020 2019 2018 2017
Breach of Contract Through December 268 309 345 413 403
Year-End -- 309 345 413 403
Promissory Notes Through December 126 229 240 261 296
Year-End -- 229 240 261 296
Libel or Slander on Form U-5 Through December 89 148 119 135 136
Year-End -- 148 119 135 136
Compensation Through December 84 135 135 168 161
Year-End -- 135 135 168 161
Wrongful Termination Through December 62 101 102 122 116
Year-End -- 101 102 122 116
Libel, Slander, or Defamation Through December 59 152 135 166 117
Year-End -- 152 135 166 117
Commissions Through December 55 72 82 95 103
Year-End -- 72 82 95 103
Discrimination or Harassment* Through December 36 38 46 38 37
Year-End -- 38 46 38 37
Breach of Fiduciary Duty Through December 23 31 30 39 52
Year-End -- 31 30 39 52
Raiding Disputes Through December 13 28 21 37 33
Year-End -- 28 21 37 33
Misrepresentation Through December 12 57 29 68 54
Year-End -- 57 29 68 54
Negligence Through December 9 17 17 32 25
Year-End -- 17 17 32 25
Fraud Through December 8 16 11 24 26
Year-End -- 16 11 24 26
Omission of Facts Through December 6 11 14 18 16
Year-End -- 11 14 18 16
Collection Through December 6 0 3 2 3
Year-End -- 0 3 2 3

* This category combines the following discrimination controversy types: disability, age, gender, race, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, employment discrimination, and sexual harassment. This number does not represent the number of cases served, as one case may have multiple discrimination claims.

How Arbitration Cases Close

Cases Decided by Arbitrators 2021 (% of Cases) 2020 2019 2018 2017
After Regular Hearing 497 (12%) 335 (9%) 527 (13 %) 517 (14%) 512 (14%)
After Special Proceeding Hearing 34 (1%) 13 (0%) 12 (0%) n/a n/a
After Review of Documents (Paper Cases) 102 (2%) 101 (3%) 96 (2%) 130 (4%) 135 (4%)
Total 633 (15%) 449 (13%) 635 (16%) 647 (17%) 647 (18%)
Cases Resolved by Other Means 2021 (% of Cases) 2020 2019 2018 2017
Direct Settlement by Parties 2,418 (59%) 2,060 (58%) 2,269 (57%) 2,005 (54%) 1,964 (53%)
Settled via Mediation 458 (11%) 477 (13%) 513 (13%) 493 (13%) 493 (13%)
Withdrawn 384 (9%) 329 (9%) 343 (9%) 333 (9%) 348 (9%)
All Others 216 (5%) 243 (7%) 203 (5%) 233 (6%) 240 (7%)
Total 3,476 (85%) 3,109 (87%) 3,328 (84 %) 3,064 (83%) 3,045 (82%)

Results of Customer Claimant Arbitration Award Cases

Year Decided All Customer Claimant Cases Decided (Hearings, Special Procedures & Paper) Percentage Decided of All Customer Claimant Cases Closed Percentage (and Number) of Cases where Customer Awarded Damages
2021 328 13% 31% (103 cases)
2020 193 9% 32% (62 cases)
2019 313 13% 45% (141 cases)
2018 359 15% 40% (145 cases)
2017 352 14% 43% (151 cases)
2016 389 16% 41% (158 cases)

Result of Customer Claimant Arbitration Award Cases (Regular Hearing Only)*

Year Decided Customer Claimant Cases Decided (Hearing Only) Hearing Customer Claimant Cases Where Customer Awarded Damages Hearing Customer Claimant Not Awarded Damages Percentage of Customer Award Hearing Cases
2021 231 86 145 37%
2020 120 41 79 34%
2019 241 109 132 45%
2018 274 115 159 42%
2017 272 122 150 45%
2016 272 114 158 42%

*The data in this chart includes cases dismissed prior to the hearing on the merits, and are counted as cases in which the customer claimant was not awarded damages.

Awards on the Merits of the Case with One or More Zoom Evidentiary Hearings*

Year Decided Customer Claimant Cases Decided Customer Claimant Cases Where Customer Awarded Damages Customer Claimant Not Awarded Damages Percentage of Customer Claimant Cases Where Customer Awarded Damages
2021 136 60 76 44%
2020 30 12 18 40%

*The data in this chart excludes cases dismissed prior to the hearing on the merits.

Awards on the Merits of the Case with In-Person Evidentiary Hearings*

Year Decided Customer Claimant Cases Decided Customer Claimant Cases Where Customer Awarded Damages Customer Claimant Not Awarded Damages Percentage of Customer Claimant Cases Where Customer Awarded Damages
2021 46 22 24 48%
2020 34 17 17 50%

*The data in this chart excludes cases dismissed prior to the hearing on the merits.

Result of Customer Claimant Arbitration Award Cases (Special Proceeding Hearing Only)

Year Decided Customer Claimant Cases Decided (Special Proceeding Only) Special Proceeding Customer Claimant Cases Where Customer Awarded Damages Special Proceeding Customer Claimant Not Awarded Damages Percentage of Customer Award Special Proceeding Cases
2021 16 2 14 13%
2020 5 1 4 20%
2019 8 1 7 13%

Result of Customer Claimant Arbitration Award Cases (Paper Only)

Year Decided Customer Claimant Cases Decided (Paper Only) Paper Customer Claimant Cases Where Customer Awarded Damages Customer Claimant Not Awarded Damages Percentage of Customer Award Paper Cases
2021 81 15 66 19%
2020 68 20 48 29%
2019 64 31 33 48%
2018 85 30 55 35%
2017 80 29 51 36%
2016 117 44 73 38%

Results of All-Public Panels and Majority Public Panels in Customer Cases

Year Decided Cases Decided by All-Public Panels Percentage (and Number) of Cases Decided by 3 Public Arbitrators where Customer Awarded Damages Cases Decided by Majority-Public Panels Percentage (and Number) of Cases Decided by 2 Public Arbitrators and 1 Non-Public Arbitrator where Customer Awarded Damages
2021 139 39% (54 cases) 46 30% (14 cases)
2020 76 33% (25 cases) 26 23% (6 cases)
2019 149 53% (79 cases) 47 28% (13 cases)
2018 158 42% (67 cases) 58 47% (27 cases)
2017 137 48% (66 cases) 71 37% (26 cases)
2016 145 43% (63 cases) 72 36% (26 cases)

Arbitrators by Type and Location

Arbitrator Type Total
Public 3,980
Non-Public 4,289
Total 8,269

Special Arbitrator Roster

Arbitrator Pool Name Public Chairpersons Public Arbitrators Non-Public Arbitrators
Puerto Rico Bond Fund 216 753 650

Mediation Statistics Through December

Year Cases in Agreement Cases Closed (Percent Settled) Turnaround Time (in days)
2021 617 616 (89%) 140
2020 413 564 (85%) 124
2019 588 599 (86%) 93
2021 vs 2020 +49% +9%  +13% 

Pre-Arbitration Requests for Mediation Through December

Year to Date Number of Requests* Parties Agreed (%)
2021 195 40 (21%)
2020 190 41 (22%)
2019 138 43 (31%)

* As of January 1, 2020, Number of Requests only includes cases subject to FINRA’s jurisdiction. Previously, these statistics included all requests to mediate, including those not subject to FINRA’s jurisdiction.