National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD)

A regulatory body previously responsible for overseeing the securities industry

What is the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD)?

The National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) was a regulatory body responsible for overseeing the securities industry. It was tasked with both the operation and regulation of all securities exchange market trades, as well as over-the-counter (OTC) market trades.

 

National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD)

 

Founded in 1939 – using provisions made by the 1938 Maloney Act amendments to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 – the NASD was given oversight and regulatory authority over securities trading. In 1971, the NASD acted as the lead founder of the NASDAQ stock market.

The NASD was the immediate overseer of all securities trading, with ultimate supervision by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). For nearly 70 years, the NASD operated in this way. Eventually, the SEC determined that merging the NASD with a regulatory arm of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was in the best interest of securities markets. From this merger, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, otherwise known as FINRA, was created in 2007.

 

Summary

  • The National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) was a regulatory body responsible for overseeing the securities industry. It was tasked with both the operation and regulation of all securities exchange market trading, as well as over-the-counter (OTC) market trades.
  • FINRA was formed in a combination of the NASD and the regulatory arm of the NYSE. FINRA itself is overseen by the SEC.
  • The NASD is significant because of its place in the history of regulating securities trading.

 

What is FINRA?

Again, FINRA is the combination of the NASD and the regulation, enforcement, and arbitration operations of the NYSE. While not a government agency in its own right, it’s carefully overseen by the SEC and must adhere to all the SEC’s policies, rules, and guidelines.

Among the many functions that FINRA performs, its primary responsibilities are to oversee securities trading representatives and branch offices, as well as brokerage firms. If it relates to securities and securities trading, FINRA oversees it.

Because the group is essentially the securities authority, it manages the Central Registration Depository (CRD). The CRD maintains records for all securities trades, both for companies and for individual representatives. It also must take the lead in any market trading disputes and act as a mediator through which resolutions can be reached. When disputes arise, a panel is put together, hears from all parties involved, and then makes a final ruling which all parties must adhere to.

FINRA is also responsible for facilitating the licensing of representatives who trade securities or offer trading services.

 

Significance of the National Association of Securities Dealers

The National Association of Securities Dealers is significant as the predecessor of FINRA, the current regulatory body overseeing all securities trade. Today, FINRA helps to ensure that each individual or agency participating in securities trading follows the protocols established by the SEC.

The NASD also offers a one-stop-shop in terms of getting resolutions to trade disputes. Disputes brought before a FINRA panel are conducted in much the same way that a traditional court case would be handled; however, the costs are significantly cheaper.

 

Learn More

We hope you enjoyed reading CFI’s explanation of the National Association of Securities Dealers (otherwise known today as FINRA). CFI offers the Certified Banking & Credit Analyst (CBCA)™ certification program for those looking to take their careers to the next level. To keep learning and advancing your career, the following resources will be helpful:

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