Enhancements to make FINRA’s BrokerCheck and Investment Advisor Public Disclosure (IAPD) systems more user-friendly went live last week. FINRA’s press release announcing the changes notes that they were implemented to ease investors’ access to information concerning brokers, investment advisers and their firms. Many of the improvements address recommendations from a 2011 SEC report, mandated by Dodd-Frank, which outlined ways to improve investor access to information about financial professionals. Through the updated system, investors can now:
- Access centralized licensing and registration information on current and former brokers and brokerage firms, as well as investment adviser representatives and investment advisory firms;
- Search for and locate a broker or investment adviser based on main office and branch locations, and the ability to conduct ZIP code radius searches; and
- Have the ability to see new help icons that clarify commonly referenced terms throughout the system.
During his opening remarks at FINRA’s 2012 Annual Conference, FINRA Chairman and CEO Robert G. Ketchum announced further modifications to the system are underway. Ketchum noted FINRA’s February Notice seeking input from industry members on other proposed modifications to the systems, including more detailed disclosures of educational background and professional designations and changes in the way information is presented. In his remarks, Ketchum also eased industry fears about broker and adviser licensing test scores being published, stating “I want to stress that that’s not the type of information we’re interested in disclosing.”
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