Securities Law Prof Blog

Editor: Eric C. Chaffee
Univ. of Toledo College of Law

Friday, July 13, 2007


SIRA, or the Securities Industry Regulatory Authority, was going to be the new name for the consolidated regulatory arm of NASD and NYSE, it was annoounced about a month ago.  However, the name has been changed to FINRA, or Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, because of concerns that SIRA sounded too much like the Arabic word Sirah, which refers to the biographies of the Prophet Mohammed.  See WSJ, NASD Arm's Name Lands Regulator In Alphabet Soup.

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I believe the need to change the name from "SIRA" to FINRA" only for reasons it may suggest a foreign meaning is rather unsettling and a bit overkill. Must we re-examine the acronym usage in the U.S. and entities overseas for nonprofits, corporations, or other formations?

If we exhaust all resources and time to research if "FINRA" could offend someone globally, it is likely we will find some issue associated with the use of such name.

If we continue down this path with regard to changing names of entities for this type of reason, it could be damaging to the rights we are afforded. Obviously, one must ask "did the NASD choose this name for the new regulatory arm of NASD and NYSE jointly as a name that would offend others?" It is certainly unlikely this is the case or a remote possibility.

Overall, the name "FINRA" does suggest a broader scope of regulatory authority and appears better in its context as it relates to the agency "FINCEN" Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

Posted by: Charles B. Milligan III | Jul 21, 2007 6:29:50 PM

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