Despite the downturn in the economy, brokerage firms are continuing to expand there base by growing the number of brokerage firm offices established in the United States. Based on statistics provided by FINRA (formerly the NASD), there were just over 96,000 brokerage firm branch offices in 2004. By 2008, that number had increased to over 172,000. With such a large increase in brokerage firm branch offices in such a short period of time, it seems unlikely that the industry will be able to continue to provide quality compliance and to review these new offices for the types of securities fraud that plague the industry (suitability, unauthorized trading, churning, misrepresentations, failure to supervise, selling away, etc.).
Customer complaints have also risen during this time period. In 2004, FINRA reported that 4,687 investor complaints were filed. By 2008 that number had risen to 5,405. However, based on the increase in the number of offices, it stands to reason that numerous instances of securities fraud remain unreported including unreported claims right here in South Florida in towns like Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, and Deerfield Beach. Financial advisors looking to take advantage of any lack of compliance in the securities industry often target areas where the populace is retired or elderly and affluent (like South Florida).
If you think you are the victim of securities fraud or if you would like to speak to a legal professional with knowledge of the types of fraud that are common in the securities industry, The White Law Group can help. To speak to a securities attorney, please call our Chicago Office at 312-238-9650 for a free consultation.
The White Law Group, LLC is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, investors protection, and securities regulation/compliance law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Boca Raton, Florida.
To learn more about The White Law Group, visit http://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.