Finra unveils new BrokerCheck

Streamlined database should be easier for investors to navigate

By Bruce Kelly

Nov 12, 2013 @ 3:57 pm (Updated 4:31 pm) EST

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. on Tuesday officially unveiled its new, streamlined version of BrokerCheck, the database that keeps track of the work history and disciplinary records of current and former registered reps and member broker-dealers.

In the past few years, officials at Finra have attempted to raise consumer awareness of BrokerCheck, which has faced criticism for being difficult and clunky for some investors to use.

Finra supervises 635,000 registered representatives and 4,200 broker-dealers, according to the self-regulatory organization's website.

Investors now can search both the BrokerCheck and Investment Adviser Public Disclosure record of any securities professional or firm directly from the Finra homepage, the regulator said a statement.

The BrokerCheck search results are now presented in a graphic timeline.

Until now, BrokerCheck lacked a simple-to-understand timeline snapshot of a broker's history, including “the professional's employment status and history, industry registrations and any reportable events such as customer disputes or disciplinary actions that may have occurred during his or her career,” according to Finra's statement.

The new BrokerCheck page will be available to third-party websites, the statement said.

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