In the current fiscal year (October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017), the MSRB is focused on the following key issues affecting the fairness, transparency and efficiency of the municipal securities market.
1. Municipal Advisor Regulation. The MSRB is developing additional professional qualification standards for municipal advisors, including a principal exam and continuing education requirements, and addressing their advertising practices and the activities of solicitor municipal advisors. Concurrent with its other work, the MSRB will begin to assess the impact of municipal advisor regulations and continue to focus on providing education and outreach on municipal advisor regulation.
2. Market Transparency. The MSRB is pursuing implementation of a rule requiring dealers to disclose their mark-up, or mark-down, when buying municipal bonds from, or selling them to, retail investors. The MSRB will work to ensure market-wide understanding of the planned changes. The MSRB will pursue improving the usability of the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website, while continuing to enhance the site with features that support market transparency including a new-issue calendar, third-party yield curves and, potentially, pre-trade price data. With respect to continuing disclosure, the MSRB will be considering the impact of late and selective disclosure by issuers of municipal securities.
3. Market Education. The MSRB will build out its MuniEdPro℠ course catalog and deliver a free course on municipal securities for both investors and municipal entities and obligated persons. It also will continue to provide free educational resources for market stakeholders on emerging and existing regulatory and market topics.
4. Market Efficiency. The MSRB will update and clarify several uniform and fair practice rules, including those on syndicate practices and the handling of customer complaints.