MSRB Holds Quarterly Board Meeting

Date: October 29, 2018

Contact: Jennifer A. Galloway, Chief Communications Officer


Washington, DC – The Board of Directors of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) convened on October 23–25, 2018 to discuss MSRB market oversight activities and meet with leadership of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

The MSRB periodically revisits its rules and their interpretations to help ensure that they continue to achieve their intended purposes and reflect the current state of the municipal securities market. At its meeting, the Board discussed the MSRB’s retrospective rule review, which is a continuation of and enhancement to a review that began in 2012 and has led to multiple rule amendments based on regulatory consistency, efficiency and modernization, among other themes. The Board discussed the retrospective review plan for the current fiscal year and beyond and will be providing additional details soon to ensure that market stakeholders understand the priorities and principles of the review.

Part of the retrospective review to date has included an evaluation of MSRB rules related to primary offering practices, which has resulted in one concept release and one request for comment. At its meeting, the Board agreed to amend Form G-32 to expand the data points currently collected by the MSRB to include certain information an underwriter already is required to submit to the New Issue Dissemination Service (NIIDS) for new issues of municipal securities. When an underwriter completes Form G-32, these additional data points will be auto-populated with the NIIDS data. The MSRB plans to continue to engage in stakeholder outreach related to other possible amendments to its primary offering rules.

The Board also discussed comments received on a recent request for comment related to a retrospective review of the MSRB’s 2012 interpretive guidance on duties owed by municipal securities underwriters to their issuer clients. The Board authorized staff to prepare a second request for comment on proposed amendments to the guidance to MSRB Rule G-17 with the goal of improving market practices, better protecting issuers and reducing burdens on market participants.

The Board discussed data collected under MSRB Rule G-45, on reporting of information on municipal fund securities, and determined not to seek public comment at this time regarding the possibility of making such information publicly available in the future.

The Board discussed the MSRB’s data strategy and data plan, and received a staff update on a demonstration project regarding data analytics, as well as a staff overview of the sources and limitations of third-party party data used by the MSRB. The Board also approved adding more third-party yield curves to the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website, including U.S. Treasury yield curves and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Municipal Swap Index.

Finally, the Board met with SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and Rebecca Olsen, Director of the SEC’s Office of Municipal Securities, and separately, with FINRA’s President and CEO Robert Cook and Senior Director of Fixed Income Regulation Cynthia Friedlander. The regulators discussed oversight of the municipal securities market and coordination on cross-market initiatives. As part of its stakeholder engagement, the Board also met with members of Bond Dealers of America to discuss current MSRB initiatives.

The MSRB protects investors, state and local governments and other municipal entities, and the public interest by promoting a fair and efficient municipal securities market. The MSRB fulfills this mission by regulating the municipal securities firms, banks and municipal advisors that engage in municipal securities and advisory activities. To further protect market participants, the MSRB provides market transparency through its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website, the official repository for information on all municipal bonds. The MSRB also serves as an objective resource on the municipal market, conducts extensive education and outreach to market stakeholders, and provides market leadership on key issues. The MSRB is a self-regulatory organization governed by a 21-member board of directors that has a majority of public members, in addition to representatives of regulated entities. The MSRB is overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Congress.