FINRA has added new problem and product codes for broker-dealers to use in their quarterly reporting to FINRA of statistics on customer complaints. Certain complaints that previously had been reported under more general codes must now be broken out separately, as follows:

  • Problems in establishing new accounts
  • Non-transaction-related problems with existing accounts
  • Other problems with existing accounts
  • Problems with access and functionality of a firm’s online system
  • Poor recommendations to purchase or sell securities
  • Problems with “structured products”

FINRA has been receiving reports of significant numbers of complaints in these areas, and the new reporting system is intended to help FINRA to better identify potential operational or sales practice issues at member firms. The revisions were effective October 1, 2008, and must be reflected in the fourth quarter filing due January 15, 2009.