February 7, 2014

FINRA to Reconsider BrokerCheck Web Link Plan

FSI official argued the proposal withdrawn last year was ‘unworkable’

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The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority plans to reconsider at its board meeting Thursday a revised proposal to require firms to provide a link to BrokerCheck on their websites and specified online retail communications with the public.

FINRA decided last April to pull the plug on the rule after it drew criticism from industry officials. A FINRA spokesperson told ThinkAdvisor at the time that FINRA withdrew the filing “in order to give further consideration to the comments received in response to the SEC’s publication of the proposed rule change,” and that FINRA planned to refile its proposal.

The proposal amends FINRA Rule 2210, Communications With the Public. BrokerCheck allows the public to review brokers’ profiles and disciplinary histories.

David Bellaire, executive vice president and general counsel for the Financial Services Institute, told ThinkAdvisor after the first proposal came out that it was “unworkable” because, among other issues, the planned rule “did not provide the specificity and clarity that advisors would need to properly assess their compliance efforts.”

The board also plans to consider amendments to the customer and industry arbitration rules to refine and reorganize the definitions of “nonpublic” and “public” arbitrators.

The board will also consider the proposed new rule that would prohibit the practice of conditioning settlements of customer disputes on, or otherwise compensating customers for, an agreement to allow FINRA to expunge the dispute from the broker's record.

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‘Improving’ FINRA Among Top Goals for BD Lobby

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