[S]he was given the opportunity to resign from Claimant's employ due to the way she elected to suppress workflow notification by not serial dialing customers that neither wanted nor needed unsolicited telephone contacts from a Fidelity advisor. Busch stated that no customer complaint or regulatory complaint was ever issued formally or informally to Fidelity Brokerage regarding her actions.
SIDE BAR: There are a number of aspects of the arbitration Decision that leave much to be desired. Without any prior explanation, we are informed that some "injunction" issue had existed but that the parties resolved that dispute and submitted a proposed order addressing a "permanent" injunction. Ummm . . . like, what the hell are you talking about? What kind of an injunction? Where was the injunction ordered (assuming a preliminary one existed, was that via court or FINRA)? What were the terms of the permanent injunction? Who and what was enjoined?
SIDE BAR: According to FINRA's BrokeCheck online records as of December 8, 2014, Busch was first registered in the securities industry in 1993 and has no history of customer complaints or regulatory sanctions. Respondent Fidelity indicated that on October 8, 2013, Busch was "Permitted to Resign" based upon:
ALLEGATION REGARDING WHETHER EMPLOYEE LOGGED OUTBOUND CALLS WHERE NONE OCCURRED.
2. ) The Panel has determined that the Respondent, Suchitra Sampath Busch's U5 is in fact accurate. The Panel recommends the Termination Explanation in Section 3 of Suchitra Sampath Busch's CRD#2248702) Form U5 dated November 6, 2013, filed by Fidelity Brokerage Services, LLC and maintained by the Central Registration Depository ("CRD") be supplemented with the following "Employee logged outbound customer calls where none occurred for customers who had previously indicated they did not wish to receive periodic calls from Employee. It was Employee's belief that this methodology was the only mechanism by which she could manage the Siebel system that lacked ability to categorize such customers into a "no call" classification to avoid daily dashboard reminders." This recommendation also applies to Section 4 of the foregoing Form U5s, Termination Disclosure Reporting pages.
Bill Singer's Comment
Possibly buried among the broad brushstrokes and missing commentary in the FINRA Arbitration Decision may be a somewhat serious allegation by Fidelity that its former employee Busch had improperly taken confidential customer information after departing the firm, and that she had contacted customers seeking to induce them to transfer their accounts to her new firm. Frankly, that's the bread-and-butter nature of most of these post-employment disputes. Unfortunately, the Decision doesn't shed much, if any, light on this aspect of the parties' dispute; notwithstanding that it appears that some injunction pertaining to Busch's further contacts with her former accounts at Fidelity became the subject of an injunction . . . or didn't . . . or only to some extent . . . to, frankly, your guess is as good as mine.
If you delve between the lines and parse through the few words in the Decision that address the underlying facts in this employment dispute, it appears that Busch asserted that the so-called fabricated outgoing calls were logged in by her as part of her effort to short-circuit an in-house monitoring system that would not accept the classification of "No Call" for customers who had indicated to Busch that they no longer wanted periodic calls. As best I can infer from the sparse presentation of facts in the Decision, Busch was arguing that she felt compelled to telephone certain customers who had specifically informed her that they did not wish to be called -- and that her only way to remove those customers from Fidelity's in-house monitoring system was to game the computer program by pretending that she had telephoned those folks. That all sounds like a massive case of employee frustration with an office policy that no one seems willing to redress.
Having been on the receiving end of far too many disruptive evening telephone calls to my residential "Do Not Call"-registered number, I can only imagine how some Fidelity customers might feel after telling a registered person to stop contacting them but the calls persist. If, in fact, Busch had concluded that feeding garbage into a computer system was the only way to get around her employer's insistence on the disputed periodic calls to individuals who had told her to stop, then it would seem to me that there were alternatives to citing that conduct as an "allegation" supporting Busch's registration termination. There is also a question as to whether FINRA's regulatory arm should now investigate whether Fidelity is compliant when it comes to respecting its client's instructions to leave them alone.