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Customer Complaint Report

The Customer Complaint Report is a quarterly report that displays trends in complaints reported to FINRA's Rule 4530 Application each quarter, pursuant to FINRA Rule 4530. Note: prior to July 1, 2011, complaints were submitted pursuant to NASD Rule 3070 and NYSE Rule 351. When a customer complaint is submitted to FINRA, the submitter must identify the product and problem classification detailed in the complaint. The report allows a firm to see their complaints in two views, by problem identified in the complaint and by product for which the complaint was submitted.

The complaints by problem view is displayed by default. To see complaints submitted by product, choose Product from the Views drop-down in the report header. In the Problem view of the report, the user can click the + sign to the left of the problem to see the products listed in the complaints for each problem. This allows a firm to see not just the problems reported, but for which products each problem is more frequent, and whether the firm needs to take any action accordingly. For instance, if a firm is consistently receiving complaints dealing with the suitability of a particular product, the firm may want to consider how that product is being handled.

Similarly, in the Product view, a user can expand each product to see which problems were listed in the complaints for that product. Please note: the total number of complaints per quarter is the same, whether viewed by problem or by product; the two views of the report simply offer different ways of viewing the complaint information for each quarter. Complaints identified as sales practice problems are identified in italics.

The first table of the report displays the 5 problems or products reported most frequently on complaints received in the most recent quarter (or, if fewer than 5 were received in the most recent quarter, in prior quarters). If the firm submitted complaints for more than just the 5 problems or products listed initially, the user can click the + sign to the left of the "All Other Complaints" row to see the remainder of problems or products submitted over the four quarters displayed. (See Customer Complaint Report Figure 1.)

The report also displays the top 10 problems and products that generated the most complaints for the industry as a whole in the most recent quarter, and what percentage of the total industry complaints each problem or product constitutes, for the purposes of comparison. The last two tables of the report contain the firm's total complaints per associated individual, as well as the number of complaints submitted by the firm that were associated with a registered rep at the firm. These tables allow the firm to compare its own performance with the industry. For more information on these fields, see the glossary below.

Customer complaints are required to be reported on a quarterly basis per FINRA Rule 4530 (formerly, NASD Conduct Rule 3070 and NYSE Rule 351). Per FINRA Rule 4530, complaints must be submitted within 15 days of the end of the calendar quarter. For the purposes of the report, each complaint is only counted once, no matter how many amendments to that complaint a firm submits.

To view a list of customer complaint due dates for each quarter, please see Disclosure Events and Complaint Due Dates. To read more about the system, please see Disclosure Events and Complaint Filings.

This report is published no later than 4 weeks after the last business day of the quarter. Users who have not opted-out of notifications will receive an email indicating that new reports have been published.

Report Glossary

The tables below provide a reference description for the elements found in the Customer Complaint Report. (See Customer Complaint Report Figures 1 - 2 for a sample segment of the report.)

Term

Definition

Complaints by Problem or Complaints by Product
Count For the problem or product listed, the count column contains a count of the number of complaints submitted for the quarter that cited that problem or product (or combination of the two).
Firm % For each problem or product submitted by the firm, this is the percentage of all complaints submitted by the firm for the quarter that cited the problem or product. Note: Firm % does not apply for product by problem and problem by product.
Industry % For each problem or product submitted by the firm for the four quarters displayed, the industry column contains the percentage of complaints received by FINRA that cited that particular problem or product. Note: Industry % does not apply for product by problem and problem by product.
Total - Sales Practice This row appears on the Problem view of the report. It displays the total number of complaints submitted listing a sales practice problem type, the percentage of complaints with operational problems to total complaints submitted by the firm, and the corresponding percentage of those same sales practice problems that were submitted by the industry as a whole.
Total - Operational For the purposes of this report, operational complaints are complaints submitted with any problem other than those considered to be sales practice problems. This row appears on the Problem view of the report. It displays the total number of complaints submitted listing an operational problem type, the percentage of complaints with operational problems to total complaints submitted by the firm, and the corresponding percentage of those same operational problems that were submitted by the industry as a whole.
Grand Total This row contains the total number of complaints submitted by the firm for each of the four quarters displayed.

Customer Complaint Report Figure 1

Term

Definition

Industry Percentages for the Top Ten Complaints by Product
Industry % This table lists the ten problems or products reported most frequently by the industry during the most recent quarter, and the percentage of complaints submitted for each problem or product to total complaints reported to FINRA for each of the past four quarters.

Customer Complaint Report Figure 2

Term

Definition

Complaints per Associated Individual
Associated Individual Count This is the number of individuals associated with the firm at the time the report data is run. For this report, complaints are evaluated per associated individual rather than per registered representative because FINRA Rule 4530 requires the firm to submit complaints involving the firm or any person associated with the firm.
An associated individual is defined as any natural person described by the definition of Associated Person as found within FINRA By-Laws Article I (dd). This information comes from Web CRD®. Users with Web CRD Reporting access can get a list of the associated individuals with their firm by logging into Web CRD and requesting the "Roster - Individual - Firms" report, including both registered and non-registered individuals.
Please note: For all 4 quarters of 2007, the associated individual count is the same. The count for those four quarters was taken at the time the report data first became available, in early 2008. From 1st Quarter 2008, the count reflects the number of associated individuals with the firm at the time the report data was calculated, approximately one week after the complaint due date for the quarter.
Firm This is the number of complaints submitted during the quarter per associated individual at the firm. (Grand Total Complaints / Associated Individual Count)
Industry This is the number of complaints submitted to FINRA during the quarter per associated individual in the industry. (Total All Complaints Received / Total Number of Associated Individuals in the Industry)
Complaints Identified as Related to Representative
Complaint Count This is a count of the number of complaints that were either flagged as "Related to Rep" or included an individual's CRD number in the complaint.
Firm % This is the percentage of complaints identified as related to representative to total complaints submitted by the firm for the quarter.
Industry % This is the percentage of complaints identified as related to representative submitted by all firms in the industry to total complaints received by FINRA for the quarter.