Blog by Bill Singer WEEK IN REVIEW

March 4, 2017

It's very frustrating to report about successful FINRA expungement cases because, in so doing, I am forced to re-publicize the names of individuals who were victimized by false accusations and, in a sense, to mitigate the benefit of having won an expungement recommendation from a FINRA arbitrator. On the other hand, based upon the mail and phone calls that I receive from industry participants, there is an equally substantial benefit in publicizing those very facts because they help others wage similar battles. Added into that mix of considerations is the ongoing availability of the underlying customer arbitration on FINRA's Arbitration Awards Database and legacy entries on the Central Registration Depository and BrokerCheck. Today's BrokeAndBroker Blog presented me with yet another episode of this ongoing dilemma of weighing the benefits and the harm. READ

Few issues are of more pith and moment than consumer privacy. And few industries are more susceptible to breaches of consumer privacy than the financial community. Seems that nary a day goes by that there hasn't been some hack or illegal uploading of confidential customer info. As such, today's Blog highlights a recent FINRA regulatory settlement involving one registered person's violation of consumer data policies. READ

Today's Blog features that wonderful scene from that iconic 1986 film "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."  You know the one that I'm talking about. Actor Ben Stein does the roll-call. Bueller is not there. Which reminded me of a recent FINRA arbitration at which the complaining customer showed up but the industry respondent didn't quite make it to the hearings. READ

If I had to sum up my sense of why Wall Street compliance departments and regulators often fail, I would offer four key points:
  1. If you're not looking for something, you often can't find it. 
  2. If you're convinced that where you're looking is the only right place, you fail to find what's located elsewhere. 
  3. If you're wasting your time looking for nonsense, you tend to find the useless but not what's important. 
  4. If you're going through only the motions of looking, then everything is a silly game and nothing worth looking for gets found.

FINRA Punches Ticket Of Rep Over Office Parking Validation

Today's featured FINRA regulatory settlement presents us with a Respondent who seems to have done some incredibly stupid stuff.  On the other hand, nothing about the allegations or assertions appear to add up to anything warranting a self-regulator's involvement. Which makes me wonder whether we have all the pertinent facts? Was the underlying violation worse than the settlement document makes it seem? Or, in the end, was this simply about another little guy getting bulldozed by dubious regulation? I'm just not sure what to make of this settlement and will leave it to my readers to draw their own conclusions. In any event, join me at the illustrious parking garage at Wells Fargo's office where FINRA is aggressively protecting vulnerable investors from the abuses of validated parking! READ