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FINRA Proposes New Rule For Broker-Dealers To Provide Links to BrokerCheck On Their Firm Websites

On January 25, 2013, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) filed a regulatory notice which proposed a rule that would require broker-dealer member firms and registered representatives to include “a prominent description of and link to BrokerCheck . . . on their websites, social-media pages and any comparable internet presence.” FINRA’s BrokerCheck reports contain information on broker-dealer firms, as well and individual brokers, including, but not limited to, their professional background, employment history, and most importantly, whether they have been subject to FINRA or securities regulators disciplinary proceedings and/or customer complaints. Currently, FIRNA requires brokerage firms to send their clients written communications detailing the BrokerCheck hotline and providing the FINRA BrokerCheck website. The new rule proposal would require brokerage firms and brokers to also provide a direct link on their website to the firm’s or broker’s specific BrokerCheck page, which would allow investors to click directly to the firm or broker’s relevant BrokerCheck report. This rule proposal was the result of a January 2011 study, conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, that examined ways to increase investor access to BrokerCheck. Indeed, FINRA’s notice stated, “FINRA believes that the proposed rule change would increase investor awareness and use of BrokerCheck, thereby helping investors make informed choices about the individuals and firms with which they conduct business.

Lax & Neville LLP can effectively assist investors, on both a regional and national level, that may have suffered losses as a result of their broker dealer’s sales practice abuses. Please contact our team of securities fraud attorneys for a consultation at (212) 696-1999.

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