NASAA to Host Securities Arbitration Forum

Forum to Focus on Restoring Choice, Fairness, and Balance to the Securities Arbitration Process

WASHINGTON, D.C. May 27, 2008—The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) today announced it will host a public forum to examine the current securities arbitration system and offer constructive steps to restore choice, fairness, and balance to the securities arbitration process.

The forum, Arbitration is Broken: How Can it be Fixed? is scheduled for June 24 at the Intercontinental Barclay Hotel, 111 East 48th Street, in New York City. On-site registration and a light lunch begin at noon, with the program following from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

“The arbitration system for resolving customer disputes over securities transactions has evolved into a mandatory condition imposed by the industry. It is imperative that the system of dispute resolution be fair, transparent, and free from bias,” said Karen Tyler, NASAA President and North Dakota Securities Commissioner.

The Forum takes place against a backdrop of growing investor concern over the lack of fairness in the current mandatory arbitration system. Every year thousands of investors file complaints against their stockbrokers. If these disputes aren’t settled, investors are left with only one avenue to pursue their claims – arbitration – and for all practical purposes only one arbitration forum, which is administered by an affiliate of FINRA, the securities industry’s self-regulatory organization. A recent study released by the Securities Industry Conference on Arbitration (SICA) found that most investors view the current securities arbitration forum as biased and unfair.

NASAA’s Forum will feature a panel of legal and regulatory experts, academics, and consumer advocates who will address the manner in which arbitrations are conducted; whether the selection, qualification, and composition of arbitration panels is fair; and whether the arbitration process should be an option, not a requirement, for investors. Panelists also will discuss the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007 and current research exploring consumer views on securities arbitration.

The Forum is free and open to the public on a first come, first serve basis. To reserve a seat, please contact Lonnie Martin, at 202-737-0900 or lm@nasaa.org, by June 17.

NASAA is the oldest international organization devoted to investor protection. Its membership consists of the securities administrators in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, and Mexico.

For more information:
Bob Webster, Director of Communications
202-737-0900

2008 Headlines, Newsroom