February 7, 2013
The proposed change is long overdue, but typical of an industry trade association, it does too little for too short a period. Any bar should be for a minimum of 5 years, but lets also recognize that even then FINRA is simply putting lipstick on the pig. It's still ugly.
FINRA is still able to manipulate the system to determine the arbitrators it will allow to actually serve on a panel without accountability or full disclosure. Until the public record clearly shows how many lists an arbitrator has appeared on, the number of panels upon which each has actually served, and how they were placed on the panel (i.e. by selection or off-list appointment), the entire arbitrator qualification and selection system will remain a very bad joke on the investing public, allowing FINRA to continue to pander to its industry employers by rewarding industry friendly arbitrators and punishing those sympathetic to defrauded investors.
The SEC has betrayed the investing public by allowing this kangaroo court to continue for so long without oversight or transparency.