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FINRA Broker Records Website Still State Of The Art Circa 1998

Making FINRA...kinda worthless?
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Some of your answers are in here somewhere.

In the wake of some, shall we say, unpleasant revelations, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has made some changes. It’s making its member brokerages make at least a pretense of looking into whether their employees are hardened criminals. It’s reluctantly even looking at the things those members find, and even more reluctantly agreeing not to delete red flags from brokers’ records quite so routinely. Occasionally, it is even punishing members who make it look bad.

There’s just one problem, according to those muckrakers who started all of this trouble in the first place: Its website sucks, and that makes all of the aforementioned changes essentially worthless.

There are no reviews on BrokerCheck, either from consumers or professionals. As for those “important facts about a broker’s professional background,” give me a break. The website is a profile-listing service, rich in details that show Finra is tethered to the licensing minutia of the industry it regulates….

To a large extent, the individual profiles appear to be repurposed from the Form U4, which brokers and investment advisers file in order to register with the appropriate authorities and conduct business. The reliance on that industry-focused form is perhaps one reason BrokerCheck offers few insights to investors….

It’s time for Finra to retool BrokerCheck, to spotlight the good, to call out the bad, to remove extraneous information. In BrokerCheck’s current form, I can’t tell who Finra’s customer is—consumers or the member organizations it licenses.

BrokerCheck Guide to Advisers Is No Yelp [WSJ]


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