According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) has formed a new group which will attempt to make the investment industry a safer place for investors by cracking down on securities brokers whose records show too many customer complaints and rules violations.
FINRA announced this new priority at it recent annual meeting to discuss priorities for the upcoming year. FINRA oversees the 4,180 brokerage firms and 636,000 brokers nationwide. Investors would be wise to check out the record of their broker by visiting the BrokerCheck website maintained by FINRA. Input the name of your broker and follow the on line instructions to obtain a detailed report of the employment, educational, regulatory and disciplinary history of the broker handling your nest egg. There is no charge and results are instantly available.
FINRA’s program to weed out brokers with bad records began last year and 294 were barred from the industry in 2013. Twenty-two of those who lost their licenses were barred expeditiously.
FINRA is also focussing on another problem, referred to as “cockroaching” in the industry. It is the practice of brokers moving from one problem firm to another. It is believed that more than 5,000 brokers are still licensed by FINRA to sell securities even though they have previously worked for firms already expelled by FINRA.
FINRA is also scrutinizing “frontier funds”, funds that focus on regions not yet considered emerging markets, like Argentina, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Viet Nam. Heightened risk is associated in these frontier markets and FINRA is trying to protect the unsophisticated investor from unscrupulous brokers.
If you have suffered losses in your brokerage account you may be able to recover all or a part of those losses through FINRA arbitration.
Rex Securities Law , located in Boca Raton, FL, provides representation to investors nationwide who are seeking recovery of investment losses due to the negligence or fraud of stockbrokers and broker dealers. If you have questions about how your account has been handled, call to speak with an experienced securities attorney. Most cases handled on a contingent fee basis meaning that you do not pay legal fees unless we are successful.
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