Jacobson Law P.A. represents financial advisors who want to remove information from their regulatory records. This process is known as seeking an “expungement.”

The Financial Industry Regulator Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) maintains the Central Registration Depository (“CRD”), a central licensing and registration system for U.S. securities industry. FINRA’s CRD contains the registration records of more than 6,800 broker dealers and the qualification, employment, and disclosure histories of more than 660,000 active registered individuals. Most states rely on the information contained in FINRA’s CRD when they decide whether to approve firms and individuals to operate in their jurisdiction; and investors can access the information through FINRA’s website to research the firms and advisors they are considering to hire.

In recent years, FINRA has broadened the definition of what is reportable and must be disclosed in an advisor’s CRD records. For example, under FINRA’s old rules, formal customer complaints were only required to be disclosed by an advisor if the advisor was actually named as a respondent or defendant. Under FINRA’s new rules, by contrast, customer complaints must be reported if the advisor is the “subject” of the complaint — regardless of whether the advisor has actually been named as a respondent or defendant. Similarly, under FINRA’s old rules, reportable customer complaints could eventually become “non-reportable” and removed from an advisor’s CRD records after enough time had passed. Under FINRA’s new rules, by contrast, reportable customer complaints now remain in an advisor’s CRD records no matter how old they are.

Importantly, FINRA recognizes that there are times when a complaint or other issue might be technically reportable under the rules but nevertheless should not have to remain in an advisor’s CRD records. To address such situations, FINRA has created a formal process for advisors to petition to remove — or “expunge” — such information from their CRD records.

If you are registered with FINRA and have a reportable disclosure in your public or private CRD records that you think should be expunged — whether it’s an arbitration award, an informal or formal customer complaint, a firm or regulatory investigation, or any other matter or issue — contact Jacobson Law P.A. to discuss your options.