In the past week, I ran across two discrete instances in which FINRA acts as a secret gatekeeper of sorts, exercising its own subjective judgment, without anyone knowing what, exactly, it is doing or why, employing unarticulated standards, and without providing any avenue for redress.  And I find that really frightening.

The first involves CRD,

It should be abundantly clear to everyone that BDs are required to arbitrate disputes with their registered reps. There are several reasons I can assert this with such a great deal of certainty.  First, and most obvious, there is a rule about it.  Rule 13200(a) of the Code of Arbitration Procedure provides that

[e]xcept as

A couple of events caught my attention this week and, since they are related, I thought I’d address them together.

On Monday, the SEC announced a proposed rule change to FINRA Rule 8312, the FINRA BrokerCheck Disclosure Rule. Rule 8312 permits FINRA to disclose certain information on BrokerCheck about registered individuals. As many of you

As everyone who studies FINRA’s Regulatory Notices is already well aware, two days from now, FINRA’s rule requiring background checks on prospective registered representatives goes into effect. A lot of what the new rule mandates is not new, but, as there are some things that clearly were not required before, it is worth taking a

All the numbers are up!

I read with great interest the recent flurry of articles in the financial news, including one appearing on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, about the supposed flaws with FINRA’s BrokerCheck due to the fact that it omits from public view some items, e.g., certain misdemeanor convictions and financial issues (unsatisfied liens