FINRA maintains a website , BrokerCheck, where the public can gain access to the employment, regulatory, licensing and disciplinary history of all registered stock brokers. We suggest that you review the information (CRD) for any broker you anticipate entrusting with your hard earned dollars.
Here is a recent event contained in a broker's CRD that you may find interesting.
In November 2012, a broker from Portland Maine, Peter C. Bishop, settled a rules violation allegation by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) by submitting an "AWC" and agreeing to a one month suspension and a $10,000 fine. An AWC is a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent and is a fairly common method whereby FINRA, who is the regulatory agency charged with licensing and disciplining brokers, resolves disputes with stock brokers and brokerage firms.
Bishop, according to FINRA records, formerly worked for RBC Capital Markets and Ameriprise Financial, was discharged by RBC for "violating company policy by entering trades in account of deceased individual". According to the FINRA records, Bishop place four trades in a deceased client's account after having been notified by the family of the death.
I think we can all agree that this is a good rule for brokerage firms to have and enforce.
Maine's security regulator imposed an additional fine of $5,000 and imposed other conditions and restrictions for a two year period.
Reviewing the CRD of any broker you contemplate doing business with is a prudent move.
If you have questions about the way your brokerage account has been handled or if you have losses that seem out of line with the risk you agreed to take, contact us for a no charge consultation. We have been helping investor recover stock market losses across the nation for nearly 25 years.
Visit our website for more information about our firm and investment loss recovery.
Rex Securities Law
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Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.