Blog by Bill Singer WEEK IN REVIEW

October 31, 2015

It's a growing phenomenon and a stomach-turning problem: senior citizens being targeted by scamsters and fraudsters.  The victims may be your grandparents or parents -- or they could be family members of friends. Whatever the case, be aware of the warning signs. A recent FINRA regulatory settlement presents us with a troubling fact pattern in which an elderly couple seem to have been taken advantage of by their stockbroker.READ

FINRA Complains About CCO Complaint Reporting

You might want to call it Complaint2 or Complaint Squared -- it's what happens when a regulator complains about a member firm's complaint reporting practices. In a recent FINRA regulatory settlement, we encounter a brokerage firm's Chief Compliance Officer who apparently failed to ensure that customer complaints were accurately logged-in, filed, and reported. READ

Down-Low Download Of Contact Information Sends Stockbroker Offline

With some folks, you never quite can tell whether they're coming or going. One day they're working at firm X but the next day, firm Y. Soon they're on to firm Z. Hey, for some employees that's just how it is -- you keep moving around until you find a situation that makes you happy. In today's Blog, we consider the comings-and-goings of a respondent in a FINRA regulatory settlement. This peripatetic fellow starts off at one brokerage, which he leaves after a couple of years, and winds up at another firm, which he leaves after about three months, and then returns to the firm that he was previously employed at, which apparently fires him after roughly six months. On top of all that back-and-forth, FINRA has him cool his heels with a 30-day suspension. What happened? READ

October 27, 2015: Not that long ago there were 6,000 broker/dealers registered with FINRA. Now there are 4,000. Is there a future for the small and mid-sized broker/dealer? Bill Singer speaks to Martin Kaplan, partner with Gusrae Kaplan Nusbaum, on the current "draconian" regulatory environment under the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. FINRA values "putting notches on the regulatory belt and extracting large amounts of money from firms that can least afford it," he says. Kaplan argues for a regulatory regime that assists broker/dealers in complying with the law, as opposed to the "inquisition-like" pursuit of small, unintended violations of burdensome codes. "It is a system that is troubled when you have to balance your budget by fining your members," he says. WATCH\

Seriously? Really?? We got a customer suing a brokerage firm because he claims that they should have warned him that if he kept writing checks that he would reduce his check account's balance?  No . . . I'm not kidding you. Read this recent FINRA arbitration.