Stockbrokers routinely succeeded in erasing settlements of customer complaints from their regulatory records in the wake of 2008’s market turmoil, making it harder for investors to research the money managers, a group of plaintiffs lawyers said.

Brokers who resolved arbitration cases and asked for the records to be cleared were granted expungement 97% of the time from May 2009 through 2011, according to a study released today by the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association, a group of lawyers who represent investors in disputes with U.S. brokers. One person was allowed to erase 35 cases, according to the report, which examined 483 settlements in the period.

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