NU Online News Service, Dec. 26, 5:25 p.m. – The National Association of Securities Dealers Inc., Washington, says it has adopted a new rule interpretation that prohibits “any NASD member firm from taking action that interferes with a customer’s right to transfer his or her account.”

The NASD filed the rule Dec. 21.

NASD member companies are required to implement the rule within 30 days after the NASD issues a notice explaining the operation of the rule, the NASD says.

The NASD says it adopted the new rule interpretation because of reports that member firms have gone to great lengths to keep departing brokers from taking accounts to new firms.

In same cases, member firms have filed lawsuits against customers to stop transfers of accounts, the NASD says.

“It is a fundamental right of an investor to choose with whom he or she does business, and the fact that a broker changes firms should not affect an investor’s ability to continue to access his or her account and to do business with that broker,” NASD Chairman Robert Glauber said in a statement on the new interpretation.

The interpretation does not affect actions against former employees or other firms, or the operation of NASD account transfer rules, the NASD says.

More information is available on the NASD Regulation site, at http://www.nasdr.com/pdf-text/0136ntm.pdf