April 9, 2009
I am writing to express my deep concerns about FINRA`s proposal to revise Forms U4 and U5. As a financial advisor, I rely upon my unblimished reputation( 29 years as a licensed Securites Rep with O claims,complaints OR Actions Which I was not even a part of!)In this day in time the first place a client goes to is your web site(due to the active advertising program FINRA has had on encouraging the general public to go to your site for the "facts" )You know as well as anyone that many people bring suit simply because they do not want to take the blame. It is unfare to list these items on the u-4 when wenever where directly involved in the action to begin with. If I have broken the rules "tell the Worl" Punish me to the fullest extent necessary but do not hold me out to be the bad guy when I have done nothing wrong My desire to build a successful business offers a strong incentive to make the achievement of my clients` investment objectives my primary goal. However, this proposal will undermine my efforts to build a successful business by allowing my reputation to be harmed by unproven allegations contained in an arbitration or civil litigation claim in which I am not a named party. This is absolutely unacceptable.
As a simple matter of fairness, financial advisors should be allowed a meaningful opportunity to respond to unadjudicated allegations before having their reputation sullied through the reporting of these matters to the Central Registration Depository and made available to the public through FINRA`s BrokerCheck program. But under the proposal, "yes" answers to Questions 14I(4) and (5) on Form U4 and Questions 7E(4) and (5) on Form U5 would be reported to the public and securities regulators whether or not they have merit.
I am aware that there are other situations under the current rules that require mere allegations contained in written customer complaints to be shared with the public and the regulators. However, I vigorously disagree with FINRA`s conclusion that this injustice should be extended to arbitrations and litigation that fail to name the financial advisor as a party. Instead, I believe FINRA should propose to end the reporting of all unsubstantiated claims of wrongdoing to the public and allow honest and decent financial advisors to retain their hard-earned reputations.
Therefore, I urge you to reject FINRA`s proposal to add Questions 14I(4) and (5) to Form U4 and Questions 7E(4) and (5) to Form U5. Thank you for considering my comments.
Mr. Charles Robertson
Financial Planner/Advisory Rep