Two financial advisory membership organizations publicly oppose a proposed name change for a new regulatory organization for brokers, saying the new name will further confuse an already confused public.
The new entity arising from the merger of the regulatory arms of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) will be called the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
FINRA will oversee brokers selling financial products and investments. But both the Financial Planning Association (FPA), an advocacy organization for professional financial planners, and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), which represents fee-only financial planners, say the new name implies the regulatory organization has authority over all financial service providers, including registered advisors and personal financial planners.
"Survey after survey shows people are already confused about financial services," says FPA spokesman Brad White. "This makes it worse."
In a press release, NAPFA calls FINRA is a "grave error in judgment."
"We do not have an issue with the regulatory body or the merger," says NAPFA chief executive officer Ellen Turf in an interview. "But make sure the new name truly represents what the organization is."
The new NASD/NYSE entity disagrees and is determined to stick with the new name. "While the level of paranoia displayed by these financial advisor associations is mildly amusing, at least they admit that their customers will not have FINRA protection," says NASD spokesman Howard Schloss. "Their desire to avoid self-regulation is disturbing and should be of great concern to their customers."