Jim Eccleston: FINRA’s Proposed Procedure for Reps Not Named in Arbitration to Obtain Expungement of U-4 and U-5 Filings

From the Desk of Jim Eccleston at Eccleston Law:

FINRA has proposed new rules that would permit unnamed financial advisers who are the “subject of” allegations of sales practice violations made in investment-related customer-initiated arbitration claims, but who are not named as parties to the arbitration, to seek expungement relief by initiated In reexpungement proceedings at the conclusion of the underlying customer-initiated arbitration case.  Specifically, the following are the new proposed FINRA rules:  Rule 12100(z) (“Unnamed Person”); Rule 12806 (“Expungement of Customer Dispute Information by Persons Named as Parties); Rule 13100(cc) (“Unnamed Person”); Rule 13806 (“Expungement of Customer Dispute Information by Persons Named as Parties); and Rule 13807 (“Expungement of Customer Dispute Information by an Unnamed Person”).

The current Code of Arbitration Procedure for Customer Disputes and the Code of Arbitration Procedure for Industry Disputes do not provide unnamed persons with express procedures to seek expungement of those types of allegations.  The SEC is expected to set an approval date of early 2014.

There are several benefits for brokers.  First, the new rules would allow unnamed brokers to use this explicit procedure instead of having to intervene in the arbitration filed by the investor or initiate a new arbitration case in which the broker requests expungement relief and names the investor or firm as the respondent.  Another benefit is that the expungement proceedings would commence only after the underlying customer arbitration is concluded.  Another benefit is the possibility that the arbitrator reviewing the In reexpungement proceedings will already be familiar with the case.  Under the proposed rules, the public chairperson of the underlying arbitration would handle the In reexpungement proceedings.

While our adviser clients currently do have avenues for expungement, FINRA’s new rule proposals greatly would expedite and simplify the entire process.

The attorneys of Eccleston Law represent investors and advisers nationwide in securities and employment matters. Our attorneys draw on a combined experience of nearly 50 years in delivering the highest quality legal services.

Leave a Reply