MSRB Releases Report Card on Investor Protection Initiatives

Date: July 31, 2018

Contact: Jennifer A. Galloway, Chief Communications Officer


Washington, DC – The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) today released a Report Card on Investor Protection Initiatives outlining how it has met policy recommendations contained in the 2012 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Report on the Municipal Securities Market. Over the last six years, the MSRB has further safeguarded the municipal market for investors through additional regulatory protections, improved access to disclosure information, and new tools and resources.

“Six years ago, the MSRB dedicated itself to addressing the investor protection recommendations put forth by the SEC in its report,” said MSRB President and CEO Lynnette Kelly. “Our report card outlines the MSRB’s substantial progress in this endeavor, summarizing initiatives that have enhanced market structure, improved disclosure practices and the efficiency of retail transactions.”

Over the past two years in particular the MSRB has implemented reforms addressing the structure of the municipal market. The creation of a best-execution rule in 2016 and a mark-up disclosure rule in 2018 were designed to enhance the transparency of costs associated with municipal security transactions for retail investors and to provide them with valuable access to pricing and related information about their municipal securities. Former SEC Chairman Michael Piwowar said earlier this year that the MSRB’s mark-up rule will “provide investors with clear disclosure about how much they are paying for their fixed income transactions.”

The MSRB recently improved the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website to make it easier for investors to use, and has incorporated third-party tools into EMMA® allowing investors and municipal market participants to take advantage of market yield curves and indices, a new issue calendar and an economic calendar.

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.