When the NASD/NYSE Member Regulation merger is completed, two things are sure. The group will have regulatory authority over financial services firms’ practices relating to, among other things, meetings and education/training seminars, and it will not be called SIRA (Securities Industry Regulatory Authority), the name selected in June.
In a message sent to NASD member firms last week, NASD Chairman and CEO Mary Schapiro announced that the SIRA name has been jettisoned in favor of an alternate, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA. In the weeks after the choice of SIRA, NASD and NYSE officials became aware that the acronym could, according to Schapiro, “create confusion, or might even be considered offensive by some, because of its similarity to an Arabic term used to refer to the traditional biographies of Muhammad.”
In the message, Schapiro said NASD operates in a global, multiracial, multiethnic environment and must be “sensitive and respectful to all. To remain true to that spirit, we have decided that selecting the alternative name for the new organization is simply the right thing to do.”
Schapiro added that the new, new name—FINRA—fully describes the merged regulatory agencies’ responsibilities and should be easy to remember.