Wednesday, September 15, 2021

What to do about FINRA Customer Complaints

Trust is essential for a successful career as a securities broker. FINRA’s BrokerCheck website allows the public and employers to search a securities broker by name and discover any disciplinary actions that have been issued against that broker. A BrokerCheck report also lists any formal complaints by previous investors. This system helps prevent investors from getting involved with securities brokers with a history of fraudulent and/or negligent behavior. In some instances, however, BrokerCheck casts too wide a net, causing significant reputational harm to undeserving brokers.

When a customer complaint appears on a broker’s BrokerCheck report, it is originally listed as pending. This occurs whether or not the complaint actually has merit. Unfortunately, complaints can be listed as pending for years until settled or decided in an arbitration. If the Broker-Dealer or FINRA deny the complaint on its merits the status of the complaint changes from pending to denied; however, the complaint remains on the BrokerCheck report. Even though a complaint is listed as denied, investors may still find themselves weary of that broker when comparing them to a broker with a claim-free record.

Recognizing that BrokerCheck complaints can have a tremendous influence on a broker’s career, FINRA allows brokers to request expungement of claims on their BrokerCheck report.  Here at Cosgrove Law Group, LLC, we have experience helping securities brokers remove meritless complaints from their FINRA BrokerCheck report. If you are suffering under a meritless claim on your BrokerCheck report, please contact the Cosgrove Law Group, LLC for more information on how we can help. 

Authors: Alexander Oakes and Max Simpson

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