Monday, November 23, 2009

FINRA Comes Up Shy of the Goal Line

FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in charge of protecting investors (yea right) is going to put brokers who've had their securities licenses suspended or revoked back in the FINRA Broker Check system starting November 30th, 2009. Previously, if you were a broker who lost your securities license, then all you had to do was wait two years and FINRA would automatically remove your record from the FINRA Broker Check system. Apparently, FINRA felt a little bit of heat after the Madoff Scandal by not having these rogue brokers in their system. You tell me. Why on earth was this loophole ever allowed in the first place?

Supposedly there are approximately 15,000 of these rogue brokers running around. That means there are about 300 per state if you do the math evenly across the fifty states. Of course, you can probably surmise that states such as California, New York, Florida & Massachusetts have more than 300 of these rogue brokers running around acting unethical still today. Then, if you further imagine that most of these rogue brokers huddle where the money is, then you probably have a good chance of doing business with one of these creeps if you live in South Florida, or Southern California or similar high net worth areas.

Take heart rogue brokers, especially those with criminal convictions. You have nothing to worry about. FINRA will not let anyone know that you have a criminal record. They are actually excluding the criminal convictions of rogue brokers in the FINRA Broker Check system. FINRA does not think it is relevant apparently. If this is not ass backwards, then I do not know what is. This just goes to show you that FINRA does whatever they want to do and protecting consumers is not one of the things they do, despite what their frilly commercials say.

I know a few rogue brokers and I am anxiously awaiting November 30th to see if these unethical people show up in the FINRA Broker Check system as advertised. I will have to see it to believe it. They put Bernard L. Madoff back in the FINRA Broker Check system to my surprise. The last time that I looked, he was not in there. Now that it doesn't matter, they put him back in there. Where were they when it did matter?