More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- Preventing and Dealing with Client Complaints Although the SEC has not provided specific guidance on how client complaints should be handled, a firms policies and procedures should provide clear direction how to do so, as neglecting complaints can exacerbate a bad situation.
- Anti-Fraud Provisions of the Investment Advisers Act RIAs and IARs should view themselves as fiduciaries at all times, whether they meet the legal definition or not. Deviating from the fiduciary standard of full disclosure while courting clients may cause the advisor significant problems.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced Wednesday that it has launched a pilot program offering parties in simplified cases pro bono or reduced-fee telephone mediation.
Participation in the pilot program, which began on Jan.15, is voluntary and open to cases involving claims of $50,000 or less, FINRA says.
“Telephone mediation is a lower-cost alternative, and would benefit dispute resolution forum users in many ways,” said Linda Fienberg, president of FINRA Dispute Resolution, in a statement. “Besides eliminating the travel and preparation costs typically associated with in-person mediation, telephonic mediation offers greater convenience and flexibility, and is a practical alternative for all parties involved.”
Parties interested in participating in the pilot can notify FINRA by visiting www.finra.org/arbitrationmediation/smallclaims. Also, FINRA says staff will notify eligible parties about the pilot program.
Mediators would serve on a pro bono basis on cases involving claims of $25,000 or less in damages. Reduced-fee mediation ($50 per hour) would be available on cases with damage claims between $25,000.01 and $50,000. FINRA says it will not charge any administrative fee for these cases.