FINRA launches new online watchdog service
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is putting more if its disciplinary action information online. Finra Disciplinary Actions Online, a new database launched yesterday, will provide access to FINRA complaints against firms and individual brokers.
Settlement agreements, known as Letters of Acceptance Waivers and Consents (AWCs), along with decisions by FINRA hearing panels and National Adjudicatory Council decisions will be available online.
Previously, the public had to contact FINRA to obtain documents of these actions, the self-regulator said. It has been publishing a monthly summary of completed cases, but had not provided links to specific documents.
Beginning June 15, its monthly summary of disciplinary actions will provide links to corresponding documents in the disciplinary database. The new database will allow searches by broker, firm name, date range, key words and case numbers.
The database also contains pending complaints that have been filed against firms and brokers. This should make pending complaints easier to find compared to the multi-step process required to locate pending actions disclosed on FINRA’s Broker-Check system.
Disciplinary documents will now be linked within Broker-Check reports, similar to its linked information pertaining to arbitration awards, FINRA said.
In recent years, the SEC has approved several expansions of Broker-Check including a stipulation that requires the records of brokers, who leave the industry, to be publicly available for 10 years instead of two years.
Last month, Brightscope Inc., a San Diego California data analytics firm, launched a proprietary database of advisor and broker information. FINRA spokeswoman Nancy Condon said FINRA’s new service was not in reaction to the Brightscope service and that the new database had been under development for a number of months.
Finra puts more disciplinary info online (http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20110517/FREE/110519931/-1/INDaily01&dailycount;=1&issuedate;=20110517). Investment News, May 17, 2011
Finra launches disciplinary actions database (http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110516-712678.html). Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2011