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So What if Your Investment Firm Cheats?
A Closer Look at Charles Schwab and their Efforts to Keep Your Complaints at Bay
Guest Post by Baron & Budd Shareholder and American Association of Justice President Burton Leblanc
Yet again Americans’ financial security is at risk. The mega discount brokerage firm Charles Schwab is attempting to handcuff its customers via language hidden in the fine print of their contracts that completely cuts off access to the civil justice system. (http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/09/04/schwab-case-casts-spotlight-on-securities-arbitration-and-its-flaws/?_r=0) Schwab announced they would use a forced arbitration clause in their contracts to wipe-out their clients’ rights to join together in class actions.
Class actions are often the only opportunity for justice when financial giants like Schwab rip-off investors or steal smaller amounts of money. By eliminating class actions through a forced arbitration clause, Schwab is attempting to grant itself a license to steal and violate the law.
If Schwab succeeds in its effort to prohibit class actions, a key incentive keeping Schwab honest with investors will be eliminated because Schwab will know they cannot be held accountable in court. Americans who are relying on retirement funds invested through Schwab will have no access to justice. And, unfortunately, other financial firms may follow.
The Schwab website boasts this claim: “Schwab has a 40-year history of innovation and industry-leading change for the good of all investors.” But banning class actions eliminates accountability and investors’ rights. That is one move that is obviously not a change for the good of all investors.
Join me in protecting Americans’ financial security by telling Congress to revoke corporations’ license to steal (http://www.takejusticeback.com/actions#overlay=action_item/162).