A Closer Look at FINRA Dispute Resolution Trends

Every year, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) releases its arbitration and dispute resolution case filings and trends data. Since 2020 presented several unprecedented challenges, FINRA included insights into virtual arbitration hearings that took place in lieu of in-person services. Below are some key takeaways from the most recent data that may help us prepare and adjust for future approaches to dispute resolution.

FINRA’s Data on Arbitration Case Filings

The number of arbitration case filings from January through November 2020 (3,454 cases) increased by 5 percent compared to the same period in 2019 (3,615 cases). However, consumer-initiated claims fell by 15 percent between 2019 and 2020. Additionally, 4,011 cases closed in 2019, in contrast to 3,564 in 2020. The top three controversies in customer arbitrations included breach of fiduciary duty (134 claims), negligence (121 claims), and failure to supervise (112 claims). The most popular security types prompting customer arbitrations pertained to real estate investment trust (421 claims), common stock (385 claims), and business development company (218 claims).

Virtual Arbitration Hearing Statistics

In response to COVID-19, FINRA decided to postpone in-person arbitration and mediation proceedings for several months. However, FINRA offered to hold virtual hearings over the phone or on Zoom for those who wanted to move forward with the process. According to FINRA, these virtual services “provide high-quality, secure, user-friendly options for conducting video and telephonic hearings and sharing documents remotely.” As of January 21, 2021, FINRA conducted 183 arbitration cases over Zoom. There have been 180 joint motions for virtual hearings (59 customer cases and 121 intra-industry cases).

Get Started With an Experienced Securities Law Attorney Today

If you are facing an upcoming FINRA arbitration hearing, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed or confused by the process. The pandemic protocols add additional complications to an already complex process. As soon as FINRA notifies you of an impending arbitration matter, reach out to a trusted securities law attorney to discuss the specifics of your situation. The sooner you understand your options, the more prepared you can feel as you move forward.


For more information about navigating FINRA dispute resolution matters, contact Judex Law LLC at (303) 523-4022 to speak with a trusted and experienced securities law attorney.

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