FINRA seems to think that Wall Street was awaiting with great anticipation the fabulous news that FINRA had launched a machine-readable rulebook initiative. If FINRA spent money and time on its embedded taxonomy search thing, fine, just plug it in, turn on the switch, and make sure it doesn't blow a fuse. Inexplicably, FINRA felt compelled to publish yet another news release. Ironically, what FINRA sent out wasn't much in the way of news and sure as hell didn't seem that important. These days, it's not enough for regulators to just do their jobs. They need a ticker tape parade in the form of a press release and follow-on podcasts and videos.
A non-registered fingerprint person -- a lowly NRF -- took a 15-minute break during her Series 7 examination. It's what happened during those 15 minutes that got her fined and suspended by FINRA. FINRA's regulatory settlement with the NRF is now posted on FINRA's public database for all to see. If you have a 15-minute break sometime during the day, have some fun and log on to FINRA's website and read the settlement document. See if you can find the words in FINRA's allegations that specify exactly what the NRF did that constituted a violation. Don't guess. Don't infer. Don't assume. Just write down what FINRA published as proof of the NRF's alleged misconduct. I can't find the words in the document. In fact, they're just not there.
Removing published, public, customer complaints from a registered representative's industry record is serious business with serious ramifications. FINRA version of expungement involves arbitration. It shouldn't. Expungement should be presented to a regulatory panel. Making matters worse, FINRA's expungement program is a travesty, which in the case of customer complaints ends with little more than a "recommendation" that requires the registered rep to go to court for a confirmation. That's more time and more money. Consider the evolution of two customers' complaint against Merrill Lynch, the ensuing settlement, and the expungement petition of an unnamed rep.
In today's blog we cover a recent FINRA Arbitration Award involving a TD Ameritrade representative, who told a customer something about another, unnamed licensed broker; and in the telling of that something to the customer, there was reference to a Buy Order that would be priced at the time of its placement but for the fact that the intended order was blocked because of a wrong address; and, notwithstanding the blocked order, the representative told the customer that the other licensed broker could adjust the price of the order, but in saying "could," the representative didn't assert that the other broker "would" adjust the price. Wow . . . lemme catch my breath. Please, you take it from here.