Futures Brokers Ease Access To Complaints

WASHINGTON - The futures industry's self-regulatory organization has set up a toll-free telephone line to help investors decide which brokers to trust.

The clearing house will provide information on whether futures and options brokers are properly registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and whether they have a disciplinary record, the National Futures Association announced Thursday.

Portfolio Hedging Technique

Many banks, particularly large regional and money-center banks, are active in the futures market, said Robert K. Wilmouth, president and chief executive of the Chicago-based association and chairman of LaSalle National Bank, Chicago.

Some hedge their portfolio with futures instruments. And "a number of them make investment choices on behalf of customers," Mr. Wilmouth explained.

Wendy L. Gramm, chairman of the futures commission, with Mr. Wilmouth at a news briefing, endorsed the clearing house approach to protecting investors.

Access Via Phone Lines

Investors can obtain information on 63,000 individuals and 4,000 brokerage firms registered with the CFTC. The data base includes information on 11,000 disciplinary and reparations cases.

Six operators will field calls from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. central time, Monday through Friday, at 1-800-676-4NFA.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.