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FINRA reports that it will expand Public Arbitrator Program

On October 5, 2009, FINRA reported that it will expand its “pilot” program that allows investors who file eligible claims to select an arbitration panel that consists of three “public” arbitrators, rather than the traditional panel comprised of two “public” arbitrators and one “non-public” arbitrator.

To accomplish this, FINRA has expanded the program to include cases against the following 14 broker-dealers (from 11 broker-dealers):

  • Chase Investment Services (10 cases);
  • Oppenheimer & Co. (15 cases);
  • Raymond James Financial Services/Raymond James & Associates (10 cases);
  • Citigroup Global Markets (60 cases);
  • Merrill Lynch (60 cases);
  • Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (60 cases);
  • UBS Financial Services (60 cases);
  • Wells Fargo Advisors (60 cases);
  • Ameriprise Financial Services (18 cases);
  • Charles Schwab (10 cases);
  • Edward Jones (18 cases);
  • Fidelity Brokerage Services (10 cases);
  • LPL Financial (10 cases); and
  • TD Ameritrade (10 cases)

The investor who files the claim has the option having their claim participate in the program, which concludes on October 5, 2010.

FINRA is using the program to evaluate a number of factors, including the results of cases decided by all public arbitration panels, as well as the number of investors who elect to have their case participate in the program. To date, FINRA reports that investors have filed 474 eligible cases and that 51% of investors in those cases have elected to participate in the program.

The Kueser Law Firm represents investors in securities arbitration. If you feel that your investments have been mismanaged or if you have general questions about your mutual funds, stocks, bonds, or other investments, please contact our firm to discuss your rights.

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