Recordkeeping by Introducing Brokers
Recordkeeping by introducing brokers. Your letter of September 16, 1982, has been referred to me for response. In your letter you indicate that your firm functions as an "introducing broker", and, in such capacity, effects an occasional transaction in municipal securities. You inquire as to the recordkeeping requirements applying to a firm acting in this capacity, and you also inquire as to the possibility of an exemption from the Board's rules, in view of the extremely limited nature of your municipal securities business.
As you recognize, the provision Board rule G-8 on recordkeeping with particular relevance to introducing brokers is section (d), which provides as follows:
A municipal securities broker or municipal securities dealer which, as an introducing municipal securities broker or municipal securities dealer, clears all transactions with and for customers on a fully disclosed basis with a clearing broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer, and which promptly transmits all customer funds and securities to the clearing broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer which carries all of the accounts of such customers, shall not be required to make and keep such books and records prescribed in this rule as are customarily made and kept by a clearing broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer and which are so made and kept; and such clearing broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer shall be responsible for the accurate maintenance and preservation of such books and records. (emphasis supplied)
As you can see, this provision states that the introducing broker need not make and keep those records which are "customarily made and kept by" the clearing dealer, as long as the clearing dealer does, in fact, make and keep those records. The introducing broker is still required, however, to make and keep those records which are not "customarily made and kept by" the clearing firm.
The majority of the specific records you name in your letter fall into the latter category of records which are not customarily made and kept by the clearing firm and therefore remain the responsibility of the introducing broker. Your firm would, therefore, be required to make the records of customer account information required under rule G-8(a)(xi), with all of the itemized details of information recorded on such records. Your firm would also be required to maintain the records of agency and principal transactions ("order tickets") required under rules G-8(a)(vi) and (vii) respectively. In both cases, however, if, for some reason, the clearing firm does make and keep these records, your firm would not be required to make and keep duplicates.
In the case of the requirement to keep confirmation copies, it is my understanding that the clearing firm generally maintains such records. If the clearing firm to which you introduce transactions follows this practice and maintain copies of the confirmations of such transactions, you would not be required to maintain the same record.
In adopting each of these recordkeeping requirements the Board concluded that the information required to be recorded was the minimum basic data necessary to ensure proper handling and recordation of the transaction and customer protection. I note also that these requirements parallel in most respects those of Commission rule 17a-3, to which you are already subject by virtue of your registration as a broker/dealer.
With respect to your inquiry regarding an exemption from the Board's requirements, I must advise that the Board does not have the authority to grant such exemptions. The Securities and Exchange Commission does have the authority to grant such an exemption in unusual circumstances. Any letter regarding such an exemption should be directed to the Commission's Division of Market Regulation. MSRB interpretation of September 21, 1982.