An influx of stockbroker fraud lawsuits and regulatory investigations has prompted the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to significantly expand the information it provides through its BrokerCheck Web site.
Specifically, FINRA plans to increase the number of customer complaints reported publicly, make certain information about brokers available on a permanent basis, and extend the public disclosure period from two years to 10 years for any broker who leaves the industry.
“The greater amount of information that is available to the investing public will only provide the opportunity for investors to be better informed as to the investment professionals they are entrusting their assets to,” said Steven Caruso of Maddox Hargett & Caruso, P.C., in a July 14 phone interview with On Wall Street.
The BrokerCheck expansion will be implemented in two phases, according to FINRA. In late August, historic complaints will be added to the public records of all current and former brokers. By the end of 2010, full records will be publicly available for brokers whose registrations were terminated within the past 10 years.