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FINRA Enhances BrokerCheck System

By George Miller of Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently re-vamped its online BrokerCheck portal to help users more easily access disclosure information concerning investment advisers. Where the old system only displayed BrokerCheck reports, the new system, where applicable, also displays the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) report. Both reports summarize the registered representative/adviser’s employment history, licensure information and criminal and/or disciplinary history. The updated system also allows users to search for a representative or firm by geographic location, and FINRA eventually will include educational content on BrokerCheck reports.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recommended these changes following a July 2011 investigation of the BrokerCheck system. The SEC also has recommended that FINRA evaluate the feasibility of further expanding BrokerCheck to include the reason(s) for and comments concerning a broker’s termination of employment; scores on industry examinations; and the method and format in which the information is displayed. FINRA recently indicated it would not post test scores, although this information is typically available on the more expanded full CRD report which is publicly available through some state securities regulators.

These changes and the SEC’s recommendations highlight a trend toward ever-increasing disclosure requirements in the securities industry, prompting many registered representatives and advisers to consult with a FINRA expungement attorney to remove or amend their disclosures. Our firm routinely handles expungement and CRD/BrokerCheck disclosure issues. You may contact our firm’s managing partner, Erwin Shustak, at 619.696.9500 or [email protected] for more information.

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