FINRA recently reported its September 2009 arbitration statistics. As of September 30, 2009, 5,545 claims were filed, compared to only 3,471 as of September 30, 2008, an increase of 60%. FINRA also reported that 3,196 cases were closed through September and that the average turnaround time for cases that go to an arbitration hearing has declined by 9% (14.5 months from 16.0 months).
The most frequent claims/controversies involved continue to be breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentation/fraud, negligence, and breach of contract. Mutual funds and common stock also remain the most common type of securities involved in arbitration claims.
Investors have also prevailed in a larger percentage of cases decided (by hearing or on the papers). As of September 30, 2009, 444 cases had been decided and investors prevailed in 203 (46%) of those cases. This represents a 1% increase over last month and continues to demonstrate that arbitration results are moving more in favor of investors/Claimants. Given that 3,196 cases have closed as of September 30, 2009, these statistics also demonstrate that a large number of arbitration claims are settled.