Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Broker-Check Disclosure & Dispute Process Begins August 23, 2010

Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved changes to FINRA Rule 8312. The changes will expand the information available in BrokerCheck and codify the dispute process regarding inaccuracies in the disclosed information. The amendments will be implemented in two phases, the first of which goes into effect on Monday, August 23, 2010. This first phase of implementation deals with the changes to historic complaints and the dispute process.

On Monday, all customer complaints will be publicly available in BrokerCheck. This includes any complaints that had previously been deemed “non-reportable” when the Central Registration Depository (CRD) was implemented (i.e. complaints made after August 16, 1999).

Also to be implemented on Monday is FINRA’s new dispute process regarding inaccuracies in BrokerCheck. Under the new dispute process, only an “eligible party” will be able to bring a dispute. FINRA defines an “eligible party” as any current member firm, a CXO of a former member firm, or any person associated with or formerly associated with a member firm that has a BrokerCheck report. In order to file a dispute under the amended rule, an eligible party must (1) submit a BrokerCheck Dispute Form (which will become available on FINRA’s website), (2) identify and explain the inaccuracy, and (3) provide any supporting documents.

The next (and final) implementation of the new amendments regarding the disclosure period and permanently available information will occur on November 6, 2010.

A complete discussion of all the rule changes and commentary on those changes can be accessed here.

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