Blog by Bill Singer Esq WEEK IN REVIEW

January 14, 2023
In today's featured FINRA Arbitration we got a mess involving a transfer of a customer account from Webull Financial to Fidelity. We got a misspelled customer's name. We got covered calls that wound up as naked options sales. We got a busted position and a margin call. Maybe the customer sustained losses. Maybe not. And then we have a pro se customer asked to prove that a purported contract didn't exist. What we don't have are answers. That's just not acceptable when it comes to a public, published FINRA Arbitration Award.
It's 2023. Except we're considering a FINRA Arbitration Award involving margin transactions from 2006 in an E*TRADE customer account. Or not. Or, if the trades did take place on margin, then we need to look at a version of a 1998 account document. A version? As in not the actual document but merely a version? On top of that, we are asked to consider a sample of statements. A sample? As in not the actual statements but merely a sample? Hey, they're not my words -- they're in the FINRA Arbitration Award.
A recent FINRA National Adjudicatory Council Decision considered the appeal of a former LPL rep, who was found by a FINRA Office of Hearing Officers Hearing Panel to have wrongfully paid commissions to a former colleague. The relatively esoteric nature of the misconduct at issue -- the failed purchase of another rep's book of business -- is underscored by the modest sanctions imposed by the OHO of a $2,000 fine and a 10-businsess day suspension, and, thereafter, increased by the NAC to a $5,000 fine and a 30-calendar-days suspension. All well and fine as far as Blog publisher Bill Singer, Esq. is concerned; however, Bill is quite angered by FINRA's lack of transparency when it comes to the NAC and its upward revision of the OHO sanctions.
Indeed, death is certain. What is less certain on Wall Street is whether on a post-mortem basis the dead are capable of transferring their IRA accounts to living relatives. You'd sort of think that the answer to the question was "no;" however, as a recent FINRA regulatory settlement demonstrates, what we think is an obvious answer isn't always so. Life and death have ways of surprising us!