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All About BrokerCheck, FINRA's Free Background Check for Your Financial Advisor

When the Financial Industry Regulator Authority (FINRA) launched its proprietary database, BrokerCheck, it established both a toll-free hotline and a free internet service for investors to run background checks on their financial advisors, brokers and firms.

Click here for a link to FINRA's BrokerCheck: Research Brokers & Financial Advisers

In May 2012, FINRA enhanced BrokerCheck to give investors easier access to investment files. Using BrokerCheck, you can research any FINRA-registered broker or firm and the disciplinary or inquiry history related to any broker or firm.

For instance, searching by name will return the person's Central Registration Depository (CRD) number, aliases or other identities that person may be associated with and the name of the firm currently employing that person.

BrokerCheck will display information regarding the employee's registration status with FINRA—whether it is current or expired—the broker's qualifications, such as exams past or certifications held and dates of examination, their registration history—what firms the broker has been associated with, both previously and current—and all disclosure events, such as previous customer disputes, terminations, regulatory and disciplinary actions, criminal or civil proceedings and litigations, and other financial matters the broker has been involved or associated with.

For instance, we previously reported the barring of representative Daniel Edward Becerril, II for forgery, money laundering and grand theft. Accordingly, a sample BrokerCheck Report for Becerril, II indicates this permanent barring and financial penalties bestowed on Becerril for his misconduct. The Report additionally states the specific customer dispute against Becerril and his firm that led to the aforementioned sanctions and Becerril's employment history and other business activities.