Select regulatory documents by category:

Regulatory Document Type

Back to top
Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:
Municipal Securities Representative: Credit Department Employees
Rule Number:

Rule G-3

Municipal securities representative: credit department employees. This will acknowledge receipt of your letter of October 18, 1979, concerning a proposed arrangement for the performance of municipal credit analysis functions at your bank. In your letter you indicate that the bank wishes to have certain basic statistical and data gathering activities with respect to proposed new issues of municipal securities performed by its Credit Department. The Credit Department will provide the information resulting from these activities to registered personnel in the Investment Department, which will evaluate the credit of the issuer and determine the appropriateness of the issue for the bank's own investment activities and for the bank's customers. You inquire whether the personnel in the Credit Department would be required to register and qualify as municipal securities representatives due to their performance of these activities.

Your question was referred to a committee of the Board which has the responsibility for administering the professional qualifications program on the Board's behalf. The Committee concluded that such persons would not be required to register and qualify as representatives if their functions are limited to information-gathering and performance of basic statistical computations. However, if such persons engage in any type of evaluative activity or if such persons make recommendations or suggest conclusions with respect to the securities, registration and qualification would be required. Further, should these persons produce any documents or research products intended for distribution or for use in the solicitation of customers, they would be required to register and qualify. MSRB interpretation of December 10, 1979.

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:
Agency Transaction: Pricing
Rule Number:

Rule G-12, Rule G-15

Agency transaction: pricing. Your letter of August 3, 1979 has been referred to me for response. In your letter you inquire as to the relationship between the requirements to show on customers confirmations the "yield at which transaction is effected" and the "resulting dollar price," particularly in the context of agency transactions where the professional receives a concession or other dealer reallowance as its remuneration.

Under rule G-15, the dollar price disclosed to a customer must be calculated on the basis of the yield at which the transaction was effected. This calculation is made without reference to any possible concession or other allowance which a municipal securities dealer may receive from another municipal securities professional. Accordingly, the dollar price shown on a customer confirmation will always be derived directly from the yield price.

For example, a municipal securities dealer seeking to purchase $100,000 fifteen-year bonds with a 5% coupon as agent for a customer would commonly purchase the securities from another professional at a yield price less a concession (e.g., "5.60½"), and confirm to the customer at the net yield price ("5.60"), retaining the concession as its remuneration. In our example, the customer confirmation would be required to disclose the "yield at which transaction is effected" ("5.60"), the "resulting dollar price" ("93.96"), and the fact that the dealer received $500 as its remuneration in the form of a dealer concession. The dollar price is computed directly from the yield price, and is not net of the concession received.

The confusion may arise from comparing the confirmation sent to a customer to the confirmation sent to the professional on the other side of a transaction. On the inter-dealer confirmation, the "yield at which transaction is effected" will be shown, as well as the amount of the concession, but the unit dollar price may be expressed net of the concession (in our example, "93.46," being the gross dollar price of "93.96" less the ½ point reallowance). This may give the appearance of a difference in price between the purchase and sale confirmations, but in fact both transactions are being effected at the same yield price (in our example, "5.60"), and the dollar price disclosed to the customer is the result of this yield. MSRB interpretation of September 20, 1979.

NOTE: The above letter refers to the text of rule G-15 as in effect prior to amendments effective on January 16, 1992.

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:
Legend Satisfying Requirement
Rule Number:

Rule G-21, Rule G-32

Legend satisfying requirement. I refer to your letter of June 29, 1979 in which you request advice regarding rule G-21(c) on product advertisements. As you noted in your letter, the notice of approval of rule G-34 [prior rule on advertising] stated that the Board believes that the advertisements may be misleading if they show

only a percentage rate without specifying whether it is the coupon rate or yield and, if yield, the basis on which calculated (for example, discount, par or premium securities and if discount securities, whether before-tax or after-tax yield).

You have requested advice as whether the following legend, to be used in connection with the sale of discount bonds, would be satisfactory for purposes of the rule:

"Discount bonds may be subject to capital gains tax. Rates of such tax vary for individual taxpayers. Discount yields shown herein are gross yields to maturity."

As I previously indicated to you in our telephone conversation, the proposed legend would satisfy the requirements of rule G-21(c). MSRB interpretation of August 28, 1979.

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:
Records of Original Entry
Rule Number:

Rule G-8

Records of original entry. This will acknowledge receipt of your letter of June 13, 1979, concerning the requirement under Board rule G-8 for records of original entry. In your letter you discuss a "Bond Register" used by your firm, which is organized by security, and presents on separate cards all transactions in particular securities arranged in chronological order. You inquire whether this is satisfactory for purposes of the Board's recordkeeping rule.

The "record of original entry" required under rule G-8(a)(i) is intended to reflect all transactions effected by a municipal securities dealer on a particular day, all transactions cleared on such day, and all receipts and disbursements of cash on such day. The record is intended to provide a complete review of the dealer's activity for the day in question. It is therefore necessary that the record be organized by date. A record organized by security would not serve the purposes of a record of original entry as envisioned in the Board's rule. MSRB interpretation of August 9, 1979.

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:
Clerical or Ministerial Dduties
Rule Number:

Clerical or ministerial duties. I refer to your letter of June 22, 1979, in which you request advice regarding the applicability of rule G-3 on professional qualifications to an employee of [Company name deleted]. According to your letter, the activities of the employee in question are limited to checking the mathematical accuracy of bids received by an issuer for which [Company name deleted] acts as financial advisor and reporting the results to the issuer.

Based on the facts stated in your letter, the employee is not required to qualify as a municipal securities representative under rule G-3. The Board does not intend the qualification requirements of the rule to apply to persons performing solely clerical or ministerial functions, such as in this case. MSRB interpretation of July 24, 1979.

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:
Maintenance of Securities Record
Rule Number:

Rule G-8

Maintenance of securities record. I refer to your letter of April 9, 1979 concerning rule G-8(a)(iii), which requires the maintenance of a securities record. This letter is intended to address your questions concerning that provision.

Rule G-8(a)(iii) requires every municipal securities dealer to make and keep

records showing separately for each municipal security all positions (including, in the case of a municipal securities dealer other than a bank dealer, securities in safekeeping) carried by such municipal securities dealer for its own account or for the account of a customer (with all "short" trading positions so designated), the location of all such securities long and the offsetting position to all such securities short, and the name or other designation of the account in which each position is carried.

Rule G-8(a)(iii) further provides that "[s]uch records shall consist of a single record system...," and that "...a bank dealer shall maintain records of the location of securities in its own trading account."

The purpose of the requirement to maintain a "securities record" is to provide a means of securities control, ensuring that all securities owned by the dealer or with respect to which the dealer has outstanding contractual commitments are accounted for in the dealer's records. To achieve this purpose, the record is commonly constructed in "trial balance" format, with information as to the "ownership" of securities reflected on the "long," or debit side, and information as to the location on the "short," or credit side of the record. The record therefore serves a different function from the subsidiary records, such as the "fail" records, required to be maintained under other provisions of the rule. The subsidiary records reflect the details of particular securities transactions; the securities record assures that a municipal securities dealer's over-all position is in balance.

In your letter you inquire specifically whether this record can be constructed through the use of duplicate copies of subsidiary records. The rule requires a system of records organized by security, showing all positions in such security. Record systems organized by position or locations, showing all securities held in such position or location, cannot serve the same balancing and control function.

The securities record, however, does not have to be maintained on a single sheet or ledger card per security. Although this is the most common means of maintaining a securities record, certain municipal securities dealers prepare segments of the record in different physical locations, bringing the segments together at the close of the business day to compose the securities record. This practice is permissible under the rule.

Finally, you have inquired regarding the possibility of maintaining the securities record on a unit system basis. Records in such a system are kept in the form of a group of documents or related groups of documents, most often files of duplicate confirmations. The maintenance of the securities record on such a basis would be acceptable provided that the required information is clearly and accurately reflected and there is an adequate basis for audit. I would note, however, that utilization of a unit system would probably only be feasible for a municipal securities dealer with very limited activity.

I hope this letter is helpful to you in responding to inquiries from your members. If you or any of your members have any further questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us. MSRB interpretation of April 16, 1979.

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:
Callable Securities: Pricing to Call
Rule Number:

Rule G-12, Rule G-15

Callable securities: pricing to call. Your letter, dated January 25, 1979 has been referred to me for response. In your letter, you raise a question regarding pricing of callable securities under rules G-12 and G-15. Specifically, you inquire as to how the dollar price should be calculated for transactions in a particular issue of [Name of bond deleted] bonds. The terms of the issue provide in pertinent part that the securities are subject to redemption prior to maturity on or after October 1, 1984, at declining premiums, from the proceeds of prepayments of mortgage loans (the "1984 call feature").

As you know, Board rules G-12 and G-15 require that

... where a transaction is effected on a yield basis, the dollar price shall be calculated to the lowest of price to premium call, price to par option, or price to maturity...

As an interpretive matter, the Board has adopted the position that the calculation of dollar price to a premium call or par option date should be to that date at which the issuer may exercise an option to call the whole of a particular issue or, in the case of serial bonds, a particular maturity, and not to the date of a call in part.

With respect to your question, the Board is of the view that the dollar price for transactions involving the securities in question should not be calculated to the 1984 call feature. The Board bases its conclusion on (1) the fact that it is extremely unlikely as a practical matter that the call would be exercised as to all or even a significant part of the issue (that is, it is much more likely to operate in practice as an "in part" call) and (2) the exercise of the 1984 call feature would depend on events which are not subject to the control of the issuer. I note that the Board cited this as the reason for not utilizing "catastrophe call" features for purposes of price calculation. MSRB interpretation of March 9, 1979.

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:
Furnishing of Official Statements: Duplication of Copies
Rule Number:

Rule G-21, Rule G-32

Furnishing of official statements: duplication of copies. [It] is the Board’s position that if an official statement is made available by an issuer, it is incumbent upon municipal securities dealers to see that their customers receive copies of the official statement. A municipal securities dealer cannot avoid the rule on the grounds that the issuer did not supply a sufficient number of official statements for distribution. The dealer in such a case has to bear the burden of reproducing the official statement. MSRB interpretation of March 7, 1979.

Note: The above letter refers to the text of rule G-32 as in effect prior to the amendments effective on August 30, 1985.

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:
Particularity of Legend
Rule Number:

Rule G-15

Particularity of legend. I refer to your recent letter in which you inquired regarding the appropriateness of using a particular legend to satisfy certain requirements of rule G-15 on customer confirmations. As you note in your letter, rule G-15 requires that information concerning time of execution of a transaction and the identity of the contra-side of an agency transaction be furnished to customers, at least upon request. You have requested advice as to whether the following legend satisfies the requirements of rule G-15 with respect to this information:

"Other details about this trade may be obtained by written request to the above address."

We are of the opinion that the legend in question does not satisfy the requirements of rule G-15 because it is too general in nature. The legend does not sufficiently apprise customers of their right to obtain information pertaining to the time of execution of a transaction or the identity of the contra-party, as contemplated by rule G-15. A legend specifically alluding to the availability of such information is necessary to satisfy the rule.

The Board has not adopted a standardized form, nor approved particular language for use in compliance with the requirements of the rule. I believe, however, that [Name deleted] is a member of the Dealer Bank Association. I suggest that you refer to the Forms Book prepared by the Dealer Bank Association, which may be of help to you. MSRB interpretation of March 6, 1979.

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:
Employer of Customer’s Spouse
Rule Number:

Rule G-28

Employer of customer’s spouse. This will acknowledge receipt of your letter of January 10, 1979, requesting an interpretive opinion with respect to rule G-28 of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (the "Board"). Rule G-28 requires a municipal securities dealer to take certain specified actions in connection with municipal securities transactions effected for the account of customers who are employed by, or the partner of another municipal securities dealer or for or on behalf of the spouse or minor child of such a person. I understand from a subsequent conversation which we had that your principal concern is whether a municipal securities dealer must obtain information regarding the employer of a spouse of a current customer, in view of the requirements of rule G-28.

Although rule G-28 applies to the spouse or minor child of a customer who is employed by another municipal securities dealer, there is no requirement at the present time in rule G-28 or in rule G-8, the recordkeeping rule, for a municipal securities dealer to obtain information about the employment status of spouses or minor children. Accordingly, a municipal securities dealer does not have to inquire of current customers whether their spouses are employed by another municipal securities dealer. A municipal securities dealer would have to comply with rule G-28 if the dealer actually knows that a spouse is employed by another municipal securities dealer. MSRB interpretation of March 6, 1979.