What is a 'Street Name'

A street name is when securities are held in the name of a broker or other nominee, as opposed to being held in the customer's name. Securities are sometimes held in street name because it makes transferring the securities easier. Securities held in street name remain in the broker's custody instead of having to be transferred to the customer and registered in the customer's name. Most securities today are held in street name, although it is possible for securities to be held in the customer's name.


Historically, holding securities in street name also eliminated the step of physically transferring the securities to the customer and significantly sped up the trade settlement. Today, securities are held in electronic form, making the need for physical transfers obsolete, but holding securities in street name still facilitates speedy trading. Having securities held in street name does not diminish the real and beneficial owner's rights.

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