FINRA BrokerCheck fixes gaping hole in database.

Our tests show that changes to FINRA's Brokercheck have finally closed a major loophole in a database long criticized as outdated and difficult to use (previous editions were cumbersome: for example, users were required --in an era when name searches are the norm on almost any database--to specify past employers for a broker before checking their background; otherwise the search did not work).

Some estimate that more than 15,000 individuals who left the securities industry after facing regulatory action did not have their disciplinary history available on BrokerCheck. Those records became available this month. Many of those former brokers returned to the business world in different capacities and, like stock market vampires, found new victims. Repeated scandals in 2009 finally forced the industry to make this necessary change.