The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) will ask the SEC for permission to expand their BrokerCheck system, according to FINRA’s news release “FINRA Proposes Further Expansion of Broker Information Publicly Available Through BrokerCheck.” The BrokerCheck system allows the public to view records of securities brokers both current and former for free. The proposed changes would increase the amount of complaints that are publicly available. It would also make the records of brokers that left the industry available for ten years, up from the two years currently available. Information regarding any criminal convictions and certain lawsuits would actually be permanently available.
Wise consumers compare annuities before making their investments. Now it can be easier to compare the brokers who sell annuities to consumers. Unfortunately, shady brokers who have been forced to leave the industry have shown up in other facets of finance looking to do harm. They have been involved in fraud and other forms of misconduct related to finance. FINRA wants to get rid of these former brokers for good, but as wise consumers we need to use FINRA’s free online BrokerCheck service for it to be effective. Before you purchase annuities or make other financial investments, check your broker out online and make sure that they have a moral financial record.