Customer complaints (valid or not) now stay on Broker Check for 10 years (previously 2 years).

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not_applicable's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-28

Customer complaints (valid or not) now stay on Broker Check for 10 years (previously 2 years).The "Title" says it all.  I had a customer complaint that was found to be not true more than 2 years ago.  This complaint fell off broker check after 2 years and now is showing again...  After calling FINRA directly, I was informed that the time period was changed to 10 years by the SEC.What are my options to get this removed?Options the FINRA rep gave me was to get an expunged court order.  Seems a little extreme for a complaint that was not found to be true in the first place.Help please?I am series 6, 63, 26, 7 & 24 

tenthtee's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-16

I get the impression we are basically on our own, as far as the b/d affiliation, complaints, and FINRA.But, what does your b/d say, can they help you? What is the point of paying them the big bucks if they can't defend us from fickle complaints? Does your b/d have people in Washington that lunch with my b/d's people, maybe they should take a bag lunch and stand outside some politicians office.

not_applicable's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-28

That does not seem right.  rrbdlawyer,Do you have any advice?

Sportsfreakbob's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-24

The problem with this is that the general public does not understand what is often the nature of "historic complaints" . FINRA should be obligated to provide a very obvious and clear explanation that not all complaints are justified, and that recent market events have caused many investors to attempt to be made whole on losses, whether or not the fully understood the risks involved. This is another injustice perpetrated upon good advisors, as well as on the public, who will often pass on retaining a good advisor simply due to a "complaint" filed by a jerk who knew he was wrong, but figured he had nothing to lose. 

not_applicable's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-28

rrbdlawyer,Okay.  So complaint was filed and even though it was found to not be true, it looks like it still falls into the guidelines of being reported on BrokerCheck (it looks like everything will be reported on BrokerCheck).  This complaint is about 3 years old (and the only complaint I have ever received).What are my options to get this removed?  Or, is there no hope?My guess would be that I am not the only person in this situation...

Sportsfreakbob's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-24

you are not

I am legend's picture
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Joined: 2010-03-04

What about complaints under 15K?  Are they still being removed after 2 years?  This seems unclear.....Any insights into this?

not_applicable's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-28

I am legend wrote:What about complaints under 15K?  Are they still being removed after 2 years?  This seems unclear.....Any insights into this? This includes ALL complaints.

not_applicable's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-28

(2) The registered person was not involved in the alleged investment-related sales practice violation, forgery, theft, misappropriation, or conversion of funds. This is an objective standard based on CRD reporting requirements. This standard would require an affirmative arbitral finding that the registered person was not involved in the alleged investment-related sales practice violation, forgery, theft, misappropriation, or conversion of funds. Under this standard, dismissal of a claim, by itself, would not be a sufficient basis for ordering expungement.     Source: http://www.finra.org/Industry/Compliance/Registration/CRD/FilingGuidance/P005224So, if "Under this standard, dismissal of a claim, by itself, would not be a sufficient basis for ordering expungement.".  What exactly needs to be done to get an old complaint expunged for this reason?

not_applicable's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-28

How to Scrub a Dirty BrokerCheck RecordBy Kyle Stock On August 23, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority will release a flood of old complaints and arbitration awards onto the records of U.S. stockbrokers.Investment professionals are scrambling to deal with the potential damage, specifically fighting to clear meritless complaints from their records.There are three paths to redemption for a broker with a tarnished record: comment, dispute and expungement.CommentAn active broker can add a statement explaining their side to any gripe via the "uniform" documents filed by their own firm, the same documents that FINRA uses to fill out BrokerCheck entries. Brokers that have left the industry can post their comments directly to FINRA. Forms for comments can be found here.DisputeAn investment professional can also get a BrokerCheck report altered by disputing a complaint with FINRA. The regulator will investigate the matter and change the record according to what it finds out. However, FINRA has tight restrictions on what types of grievances can be argued in this way. Typically, the regulator entertains complaints about misspelled names and incorrect dates. More "subjective" grievances must be addressed with a formal (and expensive) expungement request.ExpungementSince FINRA changed its expungement rules in 2004, it has become harder for a broker to clear an accusation. In 2005, courts ordered some 1,012 charges cleared from the files, a figure that dropped to 87 last year. But in the first half of 2010 -- the runup to the new filing rules -- expungement orders climbed 29%.To be successful, a broker has to prove one of three things: that the complaint is factually impossible; relies on false information; or relates to a transaction in which the accused was not involved. Those who think they have a chance, should go through the following steps:1. Send to FINRA a written request for an expungement along with all relevant documents, including any settlement agreement or arbitration award. Mail the documents to:Rule 2080 -- Expungement Notice/Waiver RequestFINRA Registration and Disclosure Department -- 3rd Floor9509 Key West Ave.Rockville, MD 208502. The process may require a hearing, either in person or via teleconference. Preparing for the hearing involves nothing more than having a good working knowledge of the case.3. If an arbitration panel rules in favor of the broker, he or she still must file a formal request for expungement with a court and name FINRA as a party to the case. If FINRA disagrees with the request, it may still fight the expungement at this step. If the court orders the charge expunged, FINRA will then remove it from its records.Mark Astarita, a New Jersey-based securities lawyer, said the entire process costs at least $2,000 and takes 14 to 21 months. "It's not easy," he said. "Over the years, FINRA has made it increasingly difficult to remove anything. [The new filing rule] isn't going to make it any better."However, brokers are also facing a pile of old complaints and legal actions that they can't do anything about. Astarita, for example, has a number of clients who have started to sweat decades-old charges from college bar fights.---Longtime brokers say that the best way to address these issues with clients is head-on. If an investor asks about a ding on the FINRA record, speak about it openly and honestly.And those that bring to light any bets that may be stinking up a client portfolio, have a better chance of avoiding complaints altogether.SOURCE: http://www.fins.com/Finance/Articles/SB128085721230723885/How-to-Scrub-a-Dirty-BrokerCheck-Record

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