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Notice 2009-62 - Informational Notice
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Notice 2009-61 - Informational Notice
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Notice 2009-59 - Informational Notice
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Notice 2009-58 - Informational Notice
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Notice 2009-57 - Informational Notice
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Notice 2009-55 - Informational Notice
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Notice 2009-56 - Informational Notice
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Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Notices
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Reminder Notice on Fair Practice Duties to Issuers of Municipal Securities
Rule Number:

Rule G-17

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”) has recently provided guidance regarding the fair practice and related obligations of brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers (“dealers”) to investors.[1] Specifically, MSRB Rule G-17, on conduct of municipal securities activities, states that, in the conduct of its municipal securities business, each dealer shall deal fairly with all persons and shall not engage in any deceptive, dishonest, or unfair practice.  The MSRB is publishing this notice to remind dealers that the fair practice requirements of Rule G-17 also apply to their municipal securities activities with issuers of municipal securities.

Thus, the rule requires dealers to deal fairly with issuers in connection with all aspects of the underwriting of their municipal securities, including representations regarding investors made by the dealer.  As the MSRB has previously stated, whether or not an underwriter has dealt fairly with an issuer is dependent upon the facts and circumstances of an underwriting and cannot be addressed simply by virtue of the price of the issue.[2] The MSRB has also previously noted that Rule G-17 may apply in connection with certain payments made and expenses reimbursed during the municipal bond issuance process for excessive or lavish entertainment or travel expenses.[3]

As noted above, the fair practice requirements of Rule G-17 apply to all municipal securities activities of dealers with issuers.  In particular, even where other MSRB rules provide for specific disclosures or other actions by, or establish specific standards of behavior for, dealers with respect to or on behalf of issuers, such disclosures, actions or behavior must also comport with the fair practice principles of Rule G-17.  The MSRB will continue to review practices with respect to dealer activities with issuers.


[1] See MSRB Notice 2009-42 (July 14, 2009).

 

[2] See Rule G-17 Interpretive Letter – Purchase of new issue from issuer, MSRB interpretation of December 1, 1997, reprinted in MSRB Rule Book.

[3] See MSRB Rule G-20 Interpretation — Dealer payments in connection with the municipal securities issuance process, MSRB interpretation of January 29, 2007, reprinted in MSRB Rule Book.

Notice 2009-54 - Informational Notice
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Notice 2009-52 - Informational Notice
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Notice 2009-53 - Informational Notice
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Notice 2009-51 - Request for Comment
Publication date: | Comment due:
Information for:

Rule Number:

Rule G-37


Comments on MSRB Notice 2009-51 (September 16, 2009)

  1. ABA Securities Association: Letter from Carolyn Walsh, Deputy General Counsel, dated October 30, 2009
  2. BMO Capital Markets GKST Inc.: Letter from Robert J. Stracks, Counsel, dated October 30, 2009
  3. Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association: Letter from Leslie M. Norwood, Managing Director and Associate General Counsel, dated October 30, 2009
Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Notices
Publication date:
Notice Concerning Use of Electronic Confirmations Produced By a Clearing Agency or Qualified Vendor to Satisfy the Requirements of Rule G-15(a)
Rule Number:

Rule G-15

MSRB Rule G-15 provides confirmation, clearance, settlement and other uniform practice requirements with respect to transactions with customers.  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 (collectively “dealer”) give or send to the customer “a written confirmation of the transaction” containing the information specified by the rule.  Rule 15(d) provides additional uniform practice requirements for transactions executed with customers on a payment for securities received (“RVP”) or delivery against payment of securities sold (“DVP”) basis (collectively, “DVP/RVP”).  In addition to the specific uniform practice requirements of this section, Rule G-15(d)(i)(c) expressly provides that dealers executing DVP/RVP transactions must comply with the requirements of section (a) of the rule pertaining to customer confirmations.  Rule G-15(d) also requires dealers that transact with customers on a DVP/RVP basis to use the facilities of a Clearing Agency or Qualified Vendor, as defined in Rule G-15(d)(ii)(B), for automated confirmation and acknowledgement of the transaction. 

Securities Exchange Act Rule 10b-10, on customer confirmations of non-municipal securities transactions, provides for confirmation requirements that are similar to Rule G-15(a).  Several providers of automated confirmation and acknowledgement services have received no-action letters from the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) staff that allow their dealer clients to rely on the confirmations they produce to satisfy dealer confirmation delivery obligations to certain customers under SEC Rule 10b-10 where the disclosures customarily provided on the back of paper confirmations are provided electronically using a uniform resource locator (“URL”) link.[1]  One of the service providers that received a no-action letter, as described above, permitting it to use URL links for its dealer clients, has requested an interpretation of Rule G-15(a) to allow dealers to rely on confirmations produced by this service provider to the same extent as dealers are allowed to use the confirmations produced by the service providers to comply with SEC Rule 10b-10.

In a 1994 Interpretive Notice, the MSRB recognized that the speed and efficiencies offered by electronic confirmation delivery are of benefit to the municipal securities industry.[2]  Therefore, the MSRB has interpreted the requirement in Rule G-15(a) to provide a customer with a written confirmation to be satisfied by an electronic confirmation for DVP/RVP transactions sent by a Clearing Agency or Qualified Vendor, as defined in MSRB Rule G-15(d)(ii)(B), where disclosures customarily provided on the back of paper confirmations are provided electronically using a URL link when the following conditions are met: (i) the confirmation sent includes all of the information required by Rule G-15(a); and (ii) all of the requirements and conditions concerning the use of the electronic confirmation service expressed in applicable SEC no-action letters concerning SEC Rule 10b-10 continue to be met.

 


 

[1] See, e.g., letter from Paula R. Jenson, Deputy Chief Counsel, SEC, to Norman Reed, General Counsel, Omgeo LLC (March 12, 2008).
 
Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Notices
Publication date:
Build America Bonds: Reminder of Customer Confirmation Yield Disclosure Requirement
Rule Number:

Rule G-15

On April 24, 2009, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) published a notice clarifying that “Build America Bonds” and other tax credit bonds are municipal securities and, therefore, subject to MSRB rules.[1]  The MSRB understands that many of these securities contain certain redemption provisions, such as mandatory pro rata sinking funds, and that brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers (collectively “dealers”) frequently effect transactions on a basis of “yield to average life.”  The MSRB reminds dealers that, for transactions effected on the basis of “yield to average life,” Rule G-15(a), on customer confirmations, requires the confirmation to display that yield as well as the yield computed to the lower of an “in whole” call or maturity.

Rule G-15(a)(i)(A)(5) states requirements for dealers to calculate and display yields and dollar prices on customer confirmations.  For transactions effected on the basis of yield to maturity, call or put date, the yield at which the transaction was effected as well as a dollar price computed to the lower of an “in whole” call or maturity are required to be shown on a confirmation.  Similarly, for transactions effected on the basis of a dollar price, the dollar price at which the transaction was effected along with a yield computed to the lower of an “in whole” call or maturity are required to be shown on a confirmation. 

Sinking funds do not represent “in whole” call features.  Accordingly, MSRB confirmation requirements do not require dealers to compute yield or dollar price to a sinking fund call date or to compute a “yield to average life” using multiple sinking fund dates.  However, dealers should note that if the computed yield otherwise required by Rule G-15(a)(i)(A)(5) is different than the yield at which the transaction was effected, Rule G-15(a)(i)(A)(5)(vii) provides that both the computed yield and the yield at which the transaction was effected must be shown on the confirmation.  Therefore, when a transaction is effected on the basis of “yield to average life,” such yield must be displayed on a customer confirmation. 


Notice 2009-49 - Informational Notice
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Notice 2009-48 - Informational Notice
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Information for:

Rule Number:

Notice 2009-47 - Request for Comment
Publication date: | Comment due:
Information for:

Rule Number:

Rule G-11, Rule G-17


Comments on MSRB Notice 2009-47 (August 11, 2009)

  1. First Southwest Company: Letter from Carl Giles, Managing Director, dated September 10, 2009
  2. Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority: Letter from Lynn Hampton, CPA, Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer, dated August 18, 2009
  3. Regional Bond Dealers Association: Letter from Michael Decker, Co-Chief Executive Officer, and Mike Nicholas, Co-Chief Executive Officer, dated September 11, 2009
  4. Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association: Letter from Leon J. Bijou, Managing Director and Associate General Counsel, dated September 11, 2009
  5. Siebert Brandford Shank & Co., LLC: Letter from Napoleon Brandford, III, Chairman, dated September 8, 2009
Notice 2009-46 - Informational Notice
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Notice 2009-45 - Informational Notice
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Notice 2009-43 - Request for Comment
Publication date: | Comment due:
Information for:

Rule Number:

Rule G-8, Rule G-34


Comments on MSRB Notice 2009-43 (July 14, 2009)

  1. Allstate Investments, LLC: Letter from Patricia W. Wilson, Senior Managing Director, Global Alternatives, dated September 1, 2009
  2. BMO Capital Markets GKST Inc: Letter from Robert J. Stracks, Counsel, dated September 1, 2009
  3. First Southwest Company: Letter from Carl Giles, Managing Director, dated August 31, 2009
  4. Regional Bond Dealers Association: Letter from Michael Decker, Co-Chief Executive Officer, and Mike Nicholas, Co-Chief Executive Officer, dated September 1, 2009
  5. Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association: Letter from Leslie M. Norwood, Managing Director and Associate General Counsel, dated September 1, 2009