September 8, 2009
I write to express my support for the expansion of disclosure and criticism of the portion of the proposed rule change which permits the deletion of information from the CRD of registered persons two years after a broker has left the industry. Permitting the deletion of customer complaints, arbitrations filed against a broker, bankruptcies, liens and certain criminal complaints and/or charges is a disservice to the investing public.
After an investor has been harmed, Broker Check is often one of the only sources of information an investor may have available to investigate what went wrong (i.e., are there other customer complaints of a similar nature?) or to track down a broker that left the firm or industry. The SRO arbitration process was designed to allow investors to represent themselves. While some sophisticated attorneys may find ways to gather the same information at a price, the deletion of this information erodes the ability of a pro per investor to adequately represent their interests in a FINRA arbitration.
At a time when the public is demanding greater transparency and accountability, it is hard to believe that FINRA intends to provide less information about bad brokers to the public and to the victims that theyve harmed.