The Washington Post reports that US securities regulator NASD is upset because there appears to be 'increasing evidence' to suggest that Wall Street firms are taking their time producing, or even withholding, evidence required for arbitration cases.
Jacob Zamansky, the securities lawyer who has so often lead the charge of the small investor against the securities industry, has said: 'The major Wall Street firms are dragging their feet across the board. They're stonewalling in every case. They're trying to wear us down'.
NASD has now written a 'sharply worded letter' to securities firms pointing out that it has received a number of complaints that brokers are not providing or were slow to provide key documents required at hearings. The regulator said that it has had to increasingly resort to levying fines on firms who do not comply with the discovery process. More seriously, NASD does have the power to suspend or ban a firm from working in the industry.
A grand total of 7,704 arbitration claims were filed with the regulator last year and the figure for 2003 is thought likely to go as high as 9,200.