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Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:
Solicitation of Contributions Rule G-37
Rule Number:

Rule G-27, Rule G-37

Solicitation of contributions. This is in response to your letter dated September 29, 1994 regarding rule G-37, on political contributions and prohibitions on municipal securities business. You review a situation regarding a municipal finance professional's participation in a fundraising event for a certain state official. You seek guidance on two matters. First, you inquire whether the activities of the municipal finance professional in connection with this fundraiser constitute a violation of the solicitation prohibition in rule G-37(c). Second, you inquire that, if a violation of rule G-37(c) occurred, would such violation subject your firm to a two-year ban on municipal securities business with the state. The Board has reviewed your letter and authorized this response.

Rule G-37(b) prohibits dealers from engaging in municipal securities business with an issuer within two years after any contribution to an official of such issuer made by: (i) the dealer; (ii) any municipal finance professional associated with such dealer; or (iii) any political action committee controlled by the dealer or municipal finance professional.[1] Rule G-37(c) provides that no dealer or any municipal finance professional shall solicit any person or political action committee to make any contribution, or shall coordinate any contributions, to an official of an issuer with which the dealer is engaging or is seeking to engage in municipal securities business.

With regard to your first inquiry, the Board is not the appropriate authority to determine whether in this instance the municipal finance professional's activities amounted to a solicitation of contributions in violation of rule G-37(c). While the Board has authority to adopt rules concerning transactions in municipal securities effected by brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers, it has no enforcement authority over dealers; that authority is vested with the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD) for securities firms. Whether a particular activity should be characterized as a solicitation of a contribution and a violation of the rule is fact specific, and further inquiry and investigation may be appropriate prior to a determination of violation. The Board believes that it is more appropriate for the NASD to make such inquiries and determinations. Your letter has been forwarded to the NASD for its review.

The Board believes, however, that if a dealer's or a municipal finance professional's name appears on fundraising literature for an issuer official for which the dealer is engaging or seeking to engage in municipal securities business, there is a presumption that such activity is a solicitation by the named party.

With regard to your second inquiry, a violation of rule G-37(c) does not trigger a two-year ban on engaging in municipal securities business with an issuer. If the NASD finds a violation of rule G-37(c) has occurred, the NASD will determine the appropriate sanction.

Finally, rule G-27, on supervision, requires each dealer to adopt, maintain and enforce written supervisory procedures reasonably designed to ensure compliance with Board rules, including rule G-37. In view of the significant penalties associated with rule G-37, including a two-year ban on municipal securities business with an issuer in certain cases, effective compliance procedures are essential. We recognize that some dealers may focus their compliance procedures on the areas in the rule concerning certain political contributions. Rule G-37 has other important provisions, however, such as the prohibition against certain solicitations and the recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Given the situation presented in your letter, your firm may wish to review its procedures to determine whether they are sufficient to ensure compliance with all provisions of rule G-37. MSRB Interpretation of November 7, 1994.


[1]  The prohibition does not apply if the only contributions to officials of issuers are made by municipal finance professionals entitled to vote for such officials, and provided, such contributions, in total, are not in excess of $250 by each such municipal finance professional to each official of such issuer, per election.

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:
Advertisements on Behalf of Issuer
Rule Number:

Rule G-21

Advertisements on behalf of issuer.  You ask whether a certain advertisement is subject to approval by a principal pursuant to rule G-21, on advertising. You state that an issuer asked the bank to act as its agent in producing the advertisement.  Rule G-21 defines an advertisement as any material (other than listings of offerings) published or designed for use in the public media, or any promotional literature designed for dissemination to the public, including any notice, circular, report, market letter, form letter or reprint or excerpt of the foregoing. The term does not apply to preliminary official statements or official statements, but does apply to abstracts or summaries of official statements, offering circulars and other such similar documents prepared by dealers. Each advertisement subject to the requirements of rule G-21 must be approved in writing by a municipal securities principal or general securities principal prior to first use. The fact that a bank dealer is acting as an agent of an issuer in the production of an advertisement meeting the definition contained in rule G-21 does not relieve a bank from complying with the requirements of the rule.  MSRB interpretation of June 20, 1994.

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:
Review and Approval of Transactions
Rule Number:

Rule G-27

Review and approval of transactions.  This is in response to your letter in which you ask several questions concerning Board rules.

[One paragraph deleted.][*]

With respect to your second question, someone qualified as both a municipal securities representative and as a municipal securities principal may review and approve his or her own transactions effected in the capacity as a representative.

With respect to your final question, rule G-27(c)(vii)(B), on supervision, requires the prompt review and written approval by a designated principal of each transaction in municipal securities on a daily basis.  MSRB interpretation of June 20, 1994.

[*] [The deleted paragraph concerned an unrelated question regarding a different Board rule and appears elsewhere in the MSRB Rule Book.]

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Notices
Publication date:
Use of the OASYS Global Trade Confirmation System to Satisfy Rule G-15(a)
Rule Number:

Rule G-15

Rule G-15(a) requires that, at or before the completion of a transaction in municipal securities with or for the account of a customer, each broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer (dealers) shall give or send to the customer "a written confirmation of the transaction" containing specified information. Securities Exchange Act Rule 10b-10 states similar confirmation requirements for customer transactions in securities other than municipal securities. In December 1992, Thomson Financial Services, Inc. (Thomson) asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission) to allow dealers to use Thomson's OASYS Global system for delivering confirmation under Rule 10b-10. In October 1993, the Commission staff provided Thomson with a "no-action" letter stating that, if OASYS Global system participants agree between themselves to use the system's electronic "contract confirmation messages" (CCMs) instead of hard-copy confirmations and if certain other requirements are met[1] the Commission staff would not recommend enforcement action to the Commission if broker-dealers rely on CCMs sent through the OASYS Global system to satisfy the requirements to confirm a transaction under Rule 10b-10.[2]

Thomson has asked the Board for an interpretation of rule G-15(a) that would allow dealers to use the OASYS Global system for municipal securities transactions to the same extent as dealers are allowed to use the system to comply with Rule 10b-10. The Board believes that the speed and efficiencies offered by electronic confirmation delivery are of benefit to the municipal securities industry, especially in light of the move to T+3 settlement. Therefore, the Board has interpreted the requirement in rule G-15(a) to provide customers with a written confirmation to be satisfied by a CCM sent through the OASYS Global system when the following conditions are met: (i) the customer and dealer have both agreed to use the OASYS Global system for purposes of confirmation delivery; (ii) the CCM includes all information required by rule G-15(a); and (iii) all other applicable requirements and conditions concerning the OASYS Global system expressed in the Commission's October 8, 1993 no-action letter concerning Securities Exchange Act Rule 10b-10 continue to be met.[3]

[1] The other requirements contained in the Commission's no-action letter are as follows: (i) that the CCMs can be printed or downloaded by the participants, (ii) that the recipient of a CCM must respond through the system affirming or rejecting the trade, (iii) that the CCMs will not be automatically deleted by the system, and (iv) that the use of the system by the participants ensures that both parties to the transaction have the capacity to receive the CCMs.

[2] The Commission's October 8, 1993 no-action letter is reprinted in MSRB Reports, Vol. 14, No. 3 (June 1994) at 38-39.

[3] The Board understands that Thomson's OASYS Global system is not at this time a registered securities clearing agency and is not linked with other registered securities clearing agencies for purposes of automated confirmation/acknowledgement required under rule G-15(d). Thus, under these circumstances, use of the OASYS Global system will not constitute compliance with rule G-15(d) on automated confirmation/acknowledgement.

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:
Municipal Securities Principal: MSRB Registered Dealer
Rule Number:

Rule G-3

Municipal securities principal: MSRB registered dealer. This is in response to your March 21, 1994 letter to [name deleted] of the National Association of Securities Dealers, a copy of which you sent to my attention. The issue in question is whether [name deleted] (the “Dealer”) is required at this time to have someone qualified as a municipal securities principal.

You note in your letter that the activities that the Dealer will be engaging in currently do not involve municipal securities, therefore, you concluded that the Dealer is not subject to the Board’s requirement that the dealer have at least one municipal securities principal.

Board rules apply only to brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers who have registered as such with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and who engage in municipal securities activities. A dealer “registers” with the Board, pursuant to rule A-12, on the Board’s initial fee, by submitting a letter with certain information and paying the … initial fee along with the … annual fee pursuant to rule A-14, on the Board’s annual fee. Rule A-12 requires that the information and fee be submitted to the Board prior to the dealer engaging in municipal securities activities. Once a dealer is “registered” with the Board all Board rules are applicable to that dealer including the requirement in rule G-3, on professional qualifications, that every dealer shall have at least one municipal securities principal.[1]

Regardless of whether the Dealer is currently engaging in municipal securities activities, the dealer has “registered” with the Board and is subject to the Board’s requirement that the dealer have a municipal securities principal.[2]  If the Dealer determines that it does not wish to remain “registered” with the Board upon its conclusion that it is not engaging in municipal securities activities, rule A-15(a), on notification to Board of termination, requires that the Dealer submit a letter to the Board with a statement of its termination. In the future, should the dealer remain a registered broker or dealer with the SEC and make a determination that it will be engaging in municipal securities activities, the dealer will have to “register” with the Board pursuant to the requirements of rules A-12 and A-14 prior to engaging in municipal securities activities and, of course, meet the Board’s numerical requirements concerning municipal securities principals. MSRB interpretation of March 30, 1994.

[1]  Rule G-3(b)(iii) requires that a dealer have two municipal securities principals if the dealer performs only municipal securities activities and it employs eleven or more persons associated with it in whatever capacity on a full-time or full-time equivalent basis who are engaged in the performance of its municipal securities activities.

[2]   I have enclosed a copy of the December 14, 1993 letter you submitted to the Board pursuant to rule A-12.