Claimants Now Have Better Chance To Win In Arbitration
The February 2011 arbitration statistics have been released by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). For the two month period ending February 28, 2011, there were 837 cases filed, which represents a 9% decrease from the number filed in the first two months of 2010. However, the number of cases closed during the first two months was up rather dramatically, increasing by 16% over the number of closings for the first two months of 2010. The turnaround time for cases that go to an arbitration hearing increased to 16 months, up 15% from 13.9 months in the first two months of 2010.
The way the cases are disposed of is interesting. In the first two months, 15% of the cases were disposed of by an arbitration award and 4% were closed after a review of the documents. This means that 81% of the cases were disposed of by direct settlement between the parties, mediation, withdrawn or closed for other reasons.
The good news is that out of the 91 cases that resulted in an arbitration award, the claimant was awarded damages in 46 or the claimant prevailed 51% of the time. This statistic favoring investors has been increasing on a steady basis and this marks the first time in several years that the percentage of claims resolved in favor of investors has exceeded 50%. Please not that this does not include cases that are settled in favor of the investor, which was reported by FINRA to be upward of 76% in 2010.