In Disputes With Wall Street, Investors Face 'Rough Justice'

The Obama administration has proposed, as part of its regulatory reform plan, which includes proposed Investor Protection Act, that Congress authorize the SEC to restrict or prohibit mandatory arbitration agreements. Measures that would end mandatory arbitration are included in financial reforms passed in the House, and in the Senate, where reform legislation has not yet passed. The Comptroller General is also studying arbitration reform.

In his prepared testimony last year, Ketchum said: "FINRA has long maintained that a determination about whether mandatory arbitration agreements should be allowable is a decision best made by Congress and the SEC. Our view is that Congressional or SEC action is necessary in light of Supreme Court precedent that upholds the ability of firms to contract in this way with customers. As such, we do not object to the Administration's proposal."

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