Nine public interest groups are prodding the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s arbitration task force, which met in Washington on Thursday, to ensure that the self-regulator improves the transparency of mandatory arbitration for investors by releasing a wide range of data not now publicly available.
“Mandatory arbitration deprives investors doing business with brokerage firms and investment advisors of the right to a judge and jury,” the groups, which included Americans for Financial Reform, the Alliance for Justice, the Center for Justice and Democracy, Consumers Union, National Consumers League, Public Citizen, the National Association of Consumer Advocates, US PIRG, and the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association, told the task force in their Wednesday letter. “Investors do not receive open hearings and often do not receive fair ones,” the group said.
The 13-member task force, appointed by FINRA last July, will issue a set of recommendations after a full year of review to the National Arbitration and Mediation Committee (NAMC), FINRA’s Standing Board Advisory Committee.
FINRA CEO Richard Ketchum has said the task force will not be permanent.