The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) administers a free tool called BrokerCheck that allows the public to access information about financial institutions and individual securities advisors. BrokerCheck makes relevant information about a specific financial advisor readily available to the public, including their qualifications, current licenses, registrations, and employment history. If the broker has received customer complaints or faced criminal, civil, or disciplinary action, this information may be subject to disclosure on BrokerCheck. Here’s how a BrokerCheck disclosure may affect your career and what steps you can take to protect your reputation and future.
Accusations Can Lead to Unfair Disclosures
Unfortunately, even a simple allegation of a financial advisor’s wrongdoing can result in public disclosure. An unfounded customer complaint that is ultimately dismissed or settled can still appear on BrokerCheck. As a result, the public may incorrectly assume that the mere presence of a disclosure on BrokerCheck means the financial advisor engaged in wrongdoing. Even if the allegation was eventually dismissed or deemed meritless, the financial advisor could still suffer damage to their professional reputation.
How Disclosures Can Be Used Against You
There are many ways in which unfair disclosures can negatively affect your career and your reputation. If you are applying for a new position with a brokerage firm, your potential employer may interpret a disclosure as an indication that you are untrustworthy or a “risky” hire. Customers who look you up will not be able to view the whole story behind the disclosure, and they’ll often search for another professional with a clear record. Should you ever find yourself facing disciplinary action, FINRA may use your record to highlight that the presence of a previous disclosure increases your culpability.
Fighting Back Against Disclosures
While it’s possible to have certain types of disclosures expunged from BrokerCheck, the process can be complicated. In recent years, FINRA has tightened its expungement eligibility requirements, making it harder for financial advisors to have these unfair disclosures removed. In order to succeed, you’ll need to go through an arbitration proceeding to demonstrate that the allegation or claim was erroneous or false. Even if you prevail, you’ll still need to confirm the expungement in court, which can take a substantial amount of time. If you’ve been subjected to an unfair disclosure, contact an experienced FINRA complaint expungement attorney to discuss your options.
Want to learn more about the FINRA complaint expungement process? Call the Broomfield office of Judex Law LLC today at (303) 523-4022 to speak with a trusted and experienced securities law attorney.