On July 22, the Securities and Exchange Commission authorized the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. to implement FINRA Rule 2081 prohibiting brokers from conditioning settlement of customer complaints on (or otherwise compensating customers for not opposing) expungement of the complaint from the Central Registration Depository system. The prohibition will apply to both written and oral agreements entered into during the course of settlement negotiations as well as to any agreements entered into separately. FINRA has stated that the purpose of Rule 2081 is to ensure that arbitrators grant expungement only as an extraordinary remedy in appropriate and narrow circumstances. FINRA will announce the effective date of Rule 2081 in a Regulatory Notice to be published shortly.
The SEC approval release of FINRA Rule 2081 is available here.