Blog by Bill Singer Esq WEEK IN REVIEW

January 20, 2018

UBS Complex Director Wins Margin Call Battle ( Blog)
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority recently warned that margin debt has risen sharply in recent months to an all-time high of $627.4 billion. FINRA warns that investors often mistakenly believe that a firm must contact them first for a margin call to be valid. As a recent FINRA expungement arbitration demonstrates, mistaken beliefs about margin calls still abound. READ

FINRA Firm Sues For $5.6 Million In Unfair Competition Arbitration ( Blog) As readers of the Blog know, we frequently discuss the dangers of filing lawsuits -- as in the risk of you suing someone over something that maybe you shouldn't have hired a lawyer for and wasted your time and, go figure, not only do you lose your case but to add insult to injury, the guy you sued turned around, sued you, and, omigod, you really got hammered with damages, interest, cost, and fees. READ

FINRA Fines Firm When Unregistered Principal Acted Presidentia( Blog) would seem a fairly basic premise of FINRA regulation that you can't act as the President of a broker-dealer unless you're registered as a principal. Of course, stuff happens and, you know, sometimes a member firm didn't realize that someone was taking on a senior role requiring principal registration, and, other times, someone thought that the guy was registered or that they put the gal's U4 through but, oh well, our bad. In a recent FINRA regulatory settlement, the self-regulator goes about its business in exemplary manner and I've got nothing to say in defense of the respondent firm. Clearly, not the crime of the century and FINRA's moderate sanctions underscore that point. On the other hand, what the hell is with the Corrective Action Statement? Why not just take your lumps quietly, pay the fine, and get on with your business? READ

FINRA Dispute Hangs Out As SEC Unzips Zipper Appeal ( Blog)
So . . . 2016 became 2017, and 2017 now turns the page to 2018, and, go figure, but Bruce Zipper is still in the ring battlin' it out with FINRA and the SEC. Having read the SEC's September 29, 2017, Opinion and Order dismissing his application to review FINRA's finalization of his AWC settlement, Zipper now moves for a reconsideration of that ruling. Yeah, I know, biggggggggggggg surprise! In the Matter of the Application of Bruce Zipper for Review of Action Taken by FINRA, (Order Requesting Additional Written Submission, Securities and Exchange Commission, '34 Act Rel. No. 82486; Admin. Proc. File No. 3-17963 / January 11, 2018) As set forth in part in the January 11th Order, Zipper argues that [Ed: footnotes omitted]:

[H]e was induced "to accept a flawed agreement" because FINRA told him that he could not withdraw from the agreement the day after he signed it. The September 29 opinion addressed Zipper's argument that "he tried to withdraw from the AWC ‘the very next day after it was signed,'" but he appeared to raise that issue in an attempt to demonstrate that his appeal was timely. The Commission stated that Zipper's purported attempt to withdraw from the AWC the day after he signed it did "not change the fact that he did not file his application for review with the Commission within thirty days." Now, Zipper clarifies that he seeks relief on the ground that FINRA should have advised him of his options after he sought to withdraw from the AWC.