According to a recent announcement from FINRA’s Office of Dispute Resolution, they are drafting a new rule which would tag cases involving claimants 75 years or older for expediting processing. FINRA already has expedited processing available for 65 year or older or sick claimants — but the deadlines that generally determine the timing of the arbitration do not change. FINRA’s new rule would tackle that problem and hopefully greatly improve how quickly expedited claims move through the process by changing — ie, shortening — the actual deadlines.
In the many dozens of securities litigation cases we have worked on for investors, we have noticed that, when it comes to protecting yourself against broker misconduct and financial fraud, there several "golden rules" which, if regularly observed, would prevent the vast majority of abuses in the securities industry.
In order to reform the system, investor advocacy groups have suggested the SEC enhance the standard to which brokerages and brokers are held with regard to investor best interests. Currently the standard is based on the necessity of matching investor and investment through a concept known as "suitability." Investor advocates like PIABA, however, want to raise the bar to the "best interest” standard.
Recently, FINRA created a task force to study the problem and discovered that, in the five years from 2012 through 2016, a total of 268 awards (27% of the cases where investors were successful) or $199 million in awards (29% of total damages awarded to investors) have gone unpaid, the report states.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has released a serious of proposals aimed at implementing tougher supervisory protocols on brokers with a history of misconduct. Sponsoring brokerages would be forced to institute heightened supervisory measures on these brokers or be held responsible for any subsequent transgressions.
According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), undisclosed conflicts of interest between investors and advisors costs investors an estimated $17 billion per year. The EPI came to this estimate by calculating the amount of investment losses for people who bought retirement products on recommendation from advisors who were paid on commission; many of these products were either more expensive or risky than was absolutely necessary.
From February 2011 to December 2015, Citigroup displayed to investors, brokers, and supervisors inaccurate ratings related to more than 1,800 equities, or more than 38% covered by the firm. These mistakes included the wrong execution recommendations (“buy” instead of “sell”); ratings which were mixed up between securities; or non-ratings for securities which were actually rated.
Each month and again on a quarterly basis, the agency that regulates the financial industry, FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), produces a detailed report that runs down all disciplinary actions recently taken against brokerage firms and brokers. This long list of alleged wrongdoing and misconduct reads a lot like a police blotter. We strongly encourage any investor who suspects their broker and/or broker-dealer of having lost them money on dubious terms to at least skim this report to see if you recognize any names, schemes, products, or securities.
As an important recent report by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation indicates, nearly two-thirds of financial fraud victims experience severe emotional trauma and hardship.