At a FINRA arbitration in September 2021, Mr. Kent Kirby, a financial advisor at UBS Financial Services, Inc., sought the expungement from CRD of five customer complaints spanning a time frame from 2002 through 2011. Mr. Kirby was successful in obtaining an award expunging all five occurrences despite the fact that one customer opposed the expungement in a pre-hearing brief and at the hearing. In a detailed award, the arbitrator found that each of the claims against Mr. Kirby were “factually impossible or erroneous” as required by FINRA Rule 2080(b)(1)(A) and “false” as required by FINRA Rule 2080(b)(1)(c). Mr. Kirby then filed an action in the Circuit Court of Palm Beach County, Florida to confirm the award. Kent Kirby v. FINRA, Case No. 50-2021-CA-013816 (15th Judicial Cir., Palm Beach County, FL).
Many are familiar with FINRA Rule 2080, which involves the expungement of customer complaint information from a registered representative’s Form U4 and from the Central Registration Depository (“CRD”). Rule 2080 requires any arbitration award granting expungement of customer complaint information to be confirmed by a court order. In addition, the rep must name FINRA as a part to the court proceeding or request FINRA to waive that requirement.
What many practitioners may not know is that when FINRA receives a request for a waiver, it takes that request, along with accompanying documents, and sends it to all of the state regulators in each state where the individual is registered. See https://www.finra.org/registration-exams-ce/classic-crd/faq/finra-rule-2080-frequently-asked-questions