September 8, 2009
I am an attorney who represents investors in disputes with stockbrokers, financial advisors, and other investment professionals. I join in the comments made in the letter submitted by the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association.
Although FINRA's proposed expansion of information available to the public is a step in the right direction, the proposed rule change does not go nearly far enough in the protection of investors. I urge the SEC to require FINRA to eliminate entirely the 2-year purge of information available to the public. All reportable information on BrokerCheck should remain available indefinitely. At a minimum, it should remain available for six years after an individual leaves the securities industry, which would be consistent with FINRA's six-year eligibility rule.
Investors investigating a potential financial advisor should have available to them all reportable information, as should investors pursuing claims arising from a broker's misconduct, regardless of the time period that the broker has no longer been licensed by FINRA.
Any balancing of an ex-broker's privacy interests and investors' right to all reportable information should be done in a manner that places investor protection first, FINRA's avowed purpose.
Thank you for this opportunity to comment.