April 15, 2009
Deputy Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission 100 F Street, NE Washington, DC 20549
I am an insurance agent and financial advisor who has spent over 40 years providing valuable services to and looking out for the interests of my clients. I want to voice my concerns on FINRA's proposal to revise Forms U4 and U5. Some parts of the FINRA proposal are warranted and appropriate, I'm most worried about the part of the proposal that would revise Forms U4 and U5 to essentially require the reporting of allegations of sales practice violations made against a registered person that are contained in the body of an arbitration claim or lawsuit in which that person is not named as a party. In other words, a person would have to report allegations of sales practice complaints made against that person as long as the person was either named in or could be identified from the body of the claim, even if the person is not a party to the lawsuit or arbitration proceeding.
I very strongly oppose the presumption of this "guilty before charged" standard which could result in my reputation and livelihood being irreparably damaged by unsubstantiated claims made in a proceeding in which I have not been named as a defendant or respondent. I completely believe that people who engage in unscrupulous or misleading sales practices should be aggressively prosecuted and subject to punisment, the SEC should not allow someone's reputation to be damaged or destroyed by unproven claims. In my career I have seen several cases where clients have made claims or filed actions just to try to recover money lost by their bad decisions and against the recomendations of the agent or advisor. Allegations need to be proven first and then if fault is found, strong action should be taken and enforced!
I sincerely ask that you not approve that part of FINRA's proposal that would require the reporting of allegations of sales practice violations made against a registered person that are contained in the body of an arbitration claim or lawsuit in which that person is not named as a party. Thank you foryour consideration and evaluation of my concerns.
Jerry R. Neill CLU, ChFC