Blog by Bill Singer Esq WEEK IN REVIEW

January 6, 2018

FINRA's $10,000 Expungement Price-Tag To Clear A Victim's Name ( Blog)

There's a lot of anti-consumer misconduct on Wall Street that's tolerated and even promoted as a way to get around rules and to make a quicker buck. All of which prompts losses in customers' accounts, which then creates angry customers, who file complaints. No . . . I ain't gonna pretend that many, if not most, customer complaints aren't justified. On the other hand, there are many instances when a stockbroker is victimized by unwarranted customer complaints. Unfortunately, Wall Street has constructed an unfair system by which men and women who seek to clear their names are forced to pony up a sizable bankroll just to get the process going and then have to invest further time and money to see it to fruition. 

In today's Blog we focus on a stockbroker who did nothing wrong, should have his industry record expunged of what is independently determined to be a false customer complaint, but is daunted by the price-tag and the delays inherent in that endeavor. Equally troubling, we consider how the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority seems to have developed a lucrative business predicated upon the misfortunes of its associated persons. READ In a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA") Arbitration Statement of Claim filed in December 2014, three associated persons alleged that public customer Wijk had failed to repay a debit balance that purportedly arose after he had traded an unspecified stock on margin and, thereafter, failed to repay the ensuing debit balance. After losing this 2015 arbitration, apparently public customer Wijk was not prepared to go down without a fight and he filed an arbitration against the prevailing Claimants. Sometimes you should stay down for the count. READ

Class A Mutual Fund Front-End And FINRA Back-End

Today's featured FINRA regulatory settlement involves the dubious practice of short-term trading in Class A mutual fund shares. With a new year upon us, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority reminds the investing public to do its homework concerning Class A, B, and C mutual fund shares. It's a lesson well worth learning. As with much of FINRA's regulatory agenda, it's heart seems in the right place but the regulator can't quite get out of its own way and sort of stumbles. All of which reminds us of a golfer who looks great addressing the ball but doesn't quite follow through and shanks what should have been an otherwise good swing. READ

FINRA Horse With No Name Named

There are times that FINRA's regulatory protocol confuses me. Other times, it confounds me. And other times, well, what can I say, try as I might, I can't understand why the self-regulatory-organization does or doesn't do something. As we embark upon a new year, the Blog publishes a puzzling case that appears to start off with a wrongly named Respondent in a FINRA disciplinary proceeding. That Respondent wins at FINRA's Office of Hearing Officers trial phase. In response to his victory, FINRA apparently takes the appropriate step of striking his name from the caption of the dismissed proceeding. Inexplicably, that Respondent's name is named in FINRA's National Adjudicatory Council appellate decision -- or so it seems. READ