PIABA Denounces FINRA Hearing Board Decision Allowing Charles Schwab to Require Its Clients to Waive Right to Bring Class

   PIABA Denounces FINRA Hearing Board Decision Allowing Charles Schwab to
          Require Its Clients to Waive Right to Bring Class Actions

PR Newswire

NORMAN, Okla., Feb. 28, 2013

NORMAN, Okla., Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On February 21, 2013,
a FINRA disciplinary hearing panel entered a decision allowing brokerage giant
Charles Schwab & Company to amend its customer agreements to require its
clients to give up their right to bring or even participate in class action
claims against the firm. The panel ruled that this waiver was enforceable
under recent US Supreme Court cases interpreting the Federal Arbitration Act.

FINRA's Enforcement Department has filed an appeal of the decision to its
National Adjudicatory Council.PIABA fully supports FINRA's decision to appeal
the disciplinary hearing panel's decision."It appears that the litigation
with respect to the enforceability of Schwab's class action waiver and the
right of other firms to impose that waiver on their clients is far from over",
said Scott Ilgenfritz, president of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar
Association (PIABA).PIABA is a national bar association whose members are
lawyers who routinely represent customers in arbitrations against brokerage
firms such as Schwab.He added that if the decision is overturned, customers
who believe they have been wronged will be able to choose to pursue their
claims either in arbitration or, if appropriate, in class action suits filed
in court.

According to Ilgenfritz, "When hundreds or thousands of investors suffer
losses as a result of the misconduct of a brokerage firm and the individual
damages are not large enough to justify individual clients bringing their own
arbitration claims, class action waivers would effectively deny any relief to
those clients. What this means is that if a brokerage firm were to make
millions of dollars in profits by wrongfully obtaining small sums of money
from thousands of clients, it would get to keep the money. PIABA believes
that's just not right."

Contact:

Scott Ilgenfritz, PIABA President
Johnson, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns, LLP
403 East Madison Street, Suite 400
Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: 813.225.2500
Fax: 813.223.7118

SOURCE Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association

Website: http://www.piaba.org