Taking Customer Data Spreadsheet Doesn't Compute For Stockbroker

June 26, 2014

There often comes that time when it's time to move on. To leave your current employment. To go work on the other side of the fence, where you think the field is greener. Frankly, it happens every day. On the other hand, when it comes to compliance and regulation, the issue may not be so much that you're leaving but "how" you opt to go. Consider today's BrokeAndBroker.com Blog.

Case In Point

For the purpose of proposing a settlement of rule violations alleged by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA"), without admitting or denying the findings, prior to a regulatory hearing, and without an adjudication of any issue, Dudley Franklin Stephens submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent ("AWC"), which FINRA accepted. In the Matter of Dudley Franklin Stephens, Respondent (AWC  2013037374401, June 16, 2014).

Stephens was first registered in 2000 and has been associated with several FINRA member firms. From 2011 to May 3, 2013,he was registered with HSBC Securities (USA) Inc.; and, thereafter, he was registered with two other members.  The AWC asserts that Stephens does not have any prior disciplinary history with the Securities and Exchange Commission, FINRA, any other self-regulatory organization or any state securities regulator.

Spreading Out

We set the scene for this rather brief one-act play by raising the curtain on a day when Stephens was apparently planning on changing employers. The AWC alleges that on May 3, 2013, Stephens resigned from HSBC and on the same day joined the new firm.  Sometime in May but prior to his resignation, the AWC alleges that in violation of in-house policies and without the permission of HSBC, Stephens improperly removed confidential and proprietary information in the form of a spreadsheet containing, inter alia, customer names, account numbers, social security numbers, addresses and other information for 308 HSBC customers. Such data purportedly constituted non-public personal information under Regulation S-P of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. 

SIDE BAR: Online FINRA records as of June 26, 2014, disclose that Stephens registered with Wells Fargo Advisors, L.L.C., where he remained from May 2013 to April 2014.

The AWC alleged that Stephens utilized the HSBC non-public personal information to attempt to solicit the opening of an account at his new firm, in violation of FINRA Rule 2010. In accordance with the terms of the AWC, FINRA imposed upon Stephens a $5,000 fine and a ten-business-day suspension from association with any FINRA member firm in any and all capacities.

READ the FULL-TEXT of Regulation S-P

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