For more than a year, face-to-face meetings were either not recommended or outright prohibited. As a result, private industry and government entities, in particular, found themselves forced to immediately adapt to an online world to provide alternatives to in-person interactions.
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is an independent entity not associated with the government that drafts and enforces rules for professionals in the brokerage industry. They also take on the largest securities dispute resolution worldwide with a track record of fairness and efficiency in effectively resolving securities-related disputes.
FINRA’s arbitration process helps to resolve disputes between customers and firms or registered representatives. Unlike filing a lawsuit, arbitrating is not as expensive, and the overall process is less costly than entering a courtroom.
Like every other organization, COVID-19 forced the organization to quickly adapt to conference calls and Zoom technology to minimize any potential backlogs. August will see the reopening of multiple jurisdictions nationwide, ending FINRA’s prohibition on face-to-face arbitration hearings that started in March of last year. That includes the Boca Raton location.
The announcement is welcome news for brokerages, registered representatives, and investors and their lawyers seeking long-awaited justice. Back in April, the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association sent a letter to FINRA in late April asserting that the continued suspension of in-person hearings represented serious harm to investors.
FINRA’s return to more standard operating procedures is likely welcome news for investors throughout the country who feel that they have been wronged by trusted financial professionals. For them, justice is no longer delayed.