April 8, 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 the good will I have established with my clients and my reputation in the community to build my business through referrals.
In our country "innocent until proven guilty" is a fundamental premise.
In our business, reputations are extremely important. Even unfounded allegations can be damaging.
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.
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. J. Richard Coe
Coe Financial Services
10203 E. Churchill St.
Wichita KS 67206