September 1, 2009
The purpose of this letter is to provide the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) with comments on the above referenced proposed rule change which was filed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) on July 24, 2009 and released for public comment by the SEC on or about August 7, 2009.
I am an attorney whose practice is exclusively devoted to the representation of public investors in their disputes with the securities industry.
Moreover, I am a current member of FINRAs National Arbitration and Mediation Committee and a past President and a current member of the Board of Directors of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association.
As indicated in the SECs Release for this proposed rule change, 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. Unfortunately, this information has been limited to only those associated persons who had been registered with a firm within the preceding two (2) year period of time.
While the proposed rule would eliminate the applicable two (2) year limitation period for just certain types of final regulatory actions, I would recommend that the two (2) year limitation period be eliminated, in its entirety, for any and all information that may be applicable to the prior disciplinary histories of previously registered individuals.
This would include the disclosure of prior arbitration and/or litigation proceedings, terminations for cause, criminal proceedings and all other information that would most certainly be applicable and relevant to both the general public who may be considering a business relationship of trust with the previously registered individual and, of equal if not greater importance, public investors who may be considering the initiation of an arbitration and/or litigation proceeding against an associated person who left the securities industry more than two (2) years ago.
Thank you, in advance, for the opportunity to have provided you with my comments on this matter.