There were 543 cases filed in 2001 with the NASD Dispute Resolution arbitration forum that alleged problems with mutual funds, according to recently released statistics. That's an increase of more than 108% from 2000, when 261 such cases were filed.

For all securities firms, there were 7,088 new claims filed with the regulatory body, an increase of 24% from those filed in 2000. NASD Dispute Resolution handles monetary and business disputes between investors and securities firms, and employment and business disputes between "associated persons" and firms.

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