The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is exploring ways to give investors as well as research firms access to bulk data on broker-dealers that employ brokers with a history of FINRA violations, the self-regulator’s CEO told lawmakers Thursday.
During a Thursday oversight hearing held by the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., asked FINRA CEO Robert Cook why, as reported by Reuters, FINRA’s BrokerCheck database does not permit violations data to be released “in bulk.”
Cook responded: “It’s an area we’re looking at. Historically, the [BrokerCheck] system has been set up to focus on allowing customers to look at their brokers. Over time, we’re realizing that there’s potential opportunity to having them be able to see patterns in their firm, so we have changed our policy on allowing folks to scrape information from our website so they can pull down that information.”
FINRA, Cook added, is also “looking at whether there are packages of [such] data that we could make available to researchers and others.”
FINRA announced in late July that it plans to seek comment on rule amendments relating to brokers with a history of misconduct as well amendments to allow the self-regulator to deny a new membership application if the applicant is subject to pending arbitration claims.
The requests for comment on brokers with a history of misconduct, approved by FINRA’s board at its July 18 meeting, will be issued in forthcoming regulatory notices.
Cook also said in mid-June that FINRA plans to publish additional guidance regarding broker-dealers’ supervisory obligations related to brokers that may “pose higher risk.”