The Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA) renewed its criticism of FINRA’s Broker-Check® system in a report issued in late October. PIABA was especially critical of the system’s
- Lack of synchronization with state-regulator databases that often contain more fulsome information (including, e.g., CRD information such as reasons for broker termination, bankruptcy filings and tax liens);
- Lack of comparative, contextual data such as the total number of brokers and percentage of those with similar numbers of disciplinary results;
- Inaccessibility to the public (like academicians) for deeper data analysis; and,
- Reference to more detailed information available from state regulators only a third-tier page deep within the site.
PIABA raised many of the same criticisms in its March 2014 report. It levied special criticism at FINRA for responding to that earlier report with an advertising blitz launched June 2015 using Ogilvy & Mather (whose chairman emeritus is a FINRA board member).