Although songs and Broadway musicals routinely call upon “memories” as inspiration, it usually is not the province for decisions in FINRA arbitrations. However, we were treated to a memory lesson in what, at first blush, seemed to be a run of the mill expungement case. See Evans v. Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Inc., FINRA Office of Dispute Resolution Case No.: 18-00845.
As many know, registered persons may move to expunge certain information from their FINRA Central Registration Depository (“CRD”) records. The burden is quite high, and, unfortunately for many, the results are not always good. However, for the Evans claimant, luck and a good memory appeared to be on her side.
In Evans, the FINRA panel found that the customer “became a client of Respondent [but] had no recollection of any contact with [customer], making any recommendations to [customer], speaking to [customer] or making any trades on behalf of [customer].” The broker had stated she believed the customer’s account “had been transferred from another broker to her, without her knowledge or notice.” The Arbitration Panel was persuaded.
Here is the rub, it was her “memory” that saved the broker– no need to break into song just yet! The broker told the Arbitration Panel “that she was a practitioner of memory techniques, and that she taught the techniques in one of her son’s classes and would have remembered dealing with [customer].” The Arbitration Panel went onto reason that she “had an ability to recall details, and she testified that she had no contact with [customer].” Finally, the Arbitration Panel determined that, as a result of the broker’s memory, “the claim of customer was determined to be factually impossible, and expunged.”
In short, it seems that memories (or lack thereof) are valid for more than just carrying a tune. You can now start singing to yourselves!