September 1, 2009
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule SR-FINRA-2009-050 relating to FINRA's proposal to limit BrokerCheck information concerning a formerly registered associated person to a two year period after that person is no longer registered.
I am an attorney whose practice is primarily the representation of investors in their disputes with the securities industry.
I was formerly assistant commissioner of the Oregon Securities Division in charge of enforcement and have been active in broker dealer litigation and arbitration for over 30 years.
The primary purpose of BrokerCheck is to help investors make informed choices about the individuals and firms with which they may wish to do business. FINRA's CRD is also the official record of Oregon's (and I believe most state's) data about brokers and broker dealers registered in the state. This is public information and the full legacy CRD record should be available online until at least 10 years after the associated person is no longer registered with a firm.
There is no legitimate reason to limit the availability of any of this public record information. There is no additional cost or effort involved to simply allow the investing public access online to the exact same information they could get by asking their state securities regulator to get the full legacy report. The only reason to limit the availability is to prevent or hinder potential investors from seeing the real and complete record.
Granted, the proposed rule would eliminate the applicable two year limitation period for certain types of final regulatory actions, but the two year limitation should be eliminated in its entirety.
The full legacy data includes prior arbitration and litigation proceedings, terminations for cause, criminal proceedings and other information that a public investor would like to consider before entering into a business relationship with the previously registered individual.
This information is also very important to public investors considering arbitration or litigation against an associated person who left the securities industry more than two years ago.
Thank you again for the opportunity to comment on this proposed rule change.
Law Office of Richard M. Layne
1750 SW Skyline Blvd Ste 200
Portland, Oregon 97221