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Consumer Alert:

05/11/2009

INVESTIGATE BEFORE YOU INVEST: Florida Office of Financial Regulation Offers Extensive Background Information on Stockbrokers and Investment Advisers

 

 

CONTACT:  Holly Hinson 
PHONE NUMBER: (850) 410-9709
 
TALLAHASSEE, FL – The proliferation of securities fraud and other high-profile breaches of trust by financial professionals are strong reminders of the need to check the background of financial professionals before you trust them with your money, Florida Office of Financial Regulation said today.
 
“Information is an investor’s best defense against investment fraud,” said Alex Hager, Acting Commissioner. “The information you need to make an informed choice about who you entrust with your money is right at your fingertips. Our office should be your first call for detailed background information about your stockbroker or investment adviser.  Make the call before you hand over any money.”
 
The Florida Office of Financial Regulation offers investors extensive employment, disciplinary and registration information about their stockbroker or investment adviser.  As an investor, you can request a public report of background information on any stockbroker, brokerage firm, investment adviser and investment adviser firm registered to do business in the state.
 
To receive background information about a stockbroker or investment adviser call the Office of Financial Regulation at 1-800-848-3792 and ask for all materials from the Central Registration Depository (CRD) about that individual. This computerized national database contains licensing and registration information on more than 650,000 stockbrokers and over 260,000 investment advisers. You can also receive information on their employment, examination and disciplinary histories, civil judgments, arbitration decisions, criminal convictions or indictments, bankruptcies, as well as pending complaints, disciplinary actions, arbitration and civil proceedings.
 
“This information is easy to obtain, and state securities regulators want to help you make informed decisions before you invest your hard-earned dollars,” Alex Hager said. “While the vast majority of the stockbrokers, brokerage firms, investment advisers and investment adviser firms are honest and reputable, it pays to remember that just like many other professions, there are those individuals and firms who are not. If you suspect that something is wrong, the sooner you call us, the better. Your call also might help prevent others from being harmed by a fraudulent scheme.”
 
About the Florida Office of Financial Regulation
The Office of Financial Regulation (Office) is dedicated to safeguarding the private financial interests of the public by licensing, chartering, examining and regulating depository and non-depository financial institutions and financial service companies in the State of Florida.  The Office strives to protect consumers from financial fraud, while preserving the integrity of Florida’s markets and financial service industries.  Please visit our website at
www.flofr.com or call us toll free at 800-848-3792 or directly at 850-410-9898.
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