FINRA Dispute Resolution Services (“DRS”) has posted case statistics through May, with recent trends continuing to show a very strong year in arbitration filings – especially industry cases – and a continued drop-off in mediations.
We offer these headlines: 1) overall arbitration filings through May – 1,444 cases – are up 37% for the year (was plus 24% in April); 2) cumulative customer claims increased 20% (was plus 23% last month); 3) industry arbitration filings were up 64% (from up 26% in April); and 4) the long-term decline in mediation cases continues. There were 402 new arbitrations filed in May, spurred by a surge in industry case filings.
There were 317 mediation cases in agreement, an 18% decrease from 2022. This stat has been declining steadily in recent months, and is way down from May 2022’s torrid plus 137% pace. The mediation settlement rate was 85% (it was 83% in April).
Overall arbitration turnaround times were 16.5 months (a slight decrease), with hearing cases now taking 18.6 months (also a slight decline). There are now 8,124 DRS arbitrators, 3,969 public and 4,155 non-public. This stat was down across the board last month. Pending cases stand at 3,336, up 116 from April.
(ed: *The big increase in industry cases filings bears continued watching. **If the trend holds, the 1,444 arbitrations filed through May straight-lines to about 3,500 yearly arbitration filings, a decent year by recent measures. Last year showed 2,671 arbitration cases filings. The all-time high-water mark was 2003, when that post tech-wreck figure was 8,945 cases. ***Past year stats can be found here.)