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Rule G-8

Books and Records to be Made by Brokers, Dealers, and Municipal Securities Dealers and Municipal Advisors

Rule
Summary

Requires dealers and municipal advisors to make and keep current certain specified records.

(a) Description of Books and Records Required to be Made. Except as otherwise specifically indicated in this rule, every broker, dealer and municipal securities dealer shall make and keep current the following books and records, to the extent applicable to the business of such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer:

(i) Records of Original Entry. "Blotters" or other records of original entry containing an itemized daily record of all purchases and sales of municipal securities, all receipts and deliveries of municipal securities (including certificate numbers and, if the securities are in registered form, an indication to such effect), all receipts and disbursement of cash with respect to transactions in municipal securities, all other debits and credits pertaining to transactions in municipal securities, and in the case of brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers other than bank dealers, all other cash receipts and disbursements if not contained in the records required by any other provision of this rule. The records of original entry shall show the name or other designation of the account for which each such transaction was effected (whether effected for the account of such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer, the account of a customer, or otherwise), the description of the securities, the aggregate par value of the securities, the dollar price or yield and aggregate purchase or sale price of the securities, accrued interest, the trade date, and the name or other designation of the person from whom purchased or received or to whom sold or delivered. With respect to accrued interest and information relating to "when issued' transactions which may not be available at the time a transaction is effected, entries setting forth such information shall be made promptly as such information becomes available. Dollar price, yield and accrued interest relating to any transaction shall be required to be shown only to the extent required to be included in the confirmation delivered by the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer in connection with such transaction under rule G-12 or rule G-15.

(ii) Account Records. Account records for each customer account and account of such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer. Such records shall reflect all purchases and sales of municipal securities, all receipts and deliveries of municipal securities, all receipts and disbursements of cash, and all other debits and credits relating to such account. A bank dealer shall not be required to maintain a record of a customer’s bank credit or bank debit balances for purposes of this subparagraph.

(iii) Securities Records. Records showing separately for each municipal security all positions (including, in the case of a broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer other than a bank dealer, securities in safekeeping) carried by such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer for its 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. Such records shall also show all long security count differences and short count differences classified by the date of physical count and verification on which they were discovered. Such records shall consist of a single record system. With respect to purchases or sales, such records may be posted on either a settlement date basis or a trade date basis, consistent with the manner of posting the records of original entry of such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer. For purposes of this subparagraph, multiple maturities of the same issue of municipal securities, as well as multiple coupons of the same maturity, may be shown on the same record, provided that adequate secondary records exist to identify separately such maturities and coupons. With respect to securities which are received in and delivered out by such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer the same day on or before the settlement date, no posting to such records shall be required. Anything herein to the contrary notwithstanding, a non-clearing broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer which effects transactions for the account of customers on a delivery against payment basis may keep the records of location required by this subparagraph in the form of an alphabetical list or lists of securities showing the location of such securities rather than a record of location separately for each security. Anything herein to the contrary notwithstanding, a bank dealer shall maintain records of the location of securities in its own trading account.

(iv) Subsidiary Records. Ledgers or other records reflecting the following information:

(A) Municipal securities in transfer. With respect to municipal securities which have been sent out for transfer, the description and the aggregate par value of the securities, the name in which registered, the name in which the securities are to be registered, the date sent out for transfer, the address to which sent for transfer, former certificate numbers, the date returned from transfer, and new certificate numbers.

(B) Municipal securities to be validated. With respect to municipal securities which have been sent out for validation, the description and the aggregate par value of the securities, the date sent out for validation, the address to which sent for validation, the certificate numbers, and the date returned from validation.

(C) Municipal securities borrowed or loaned. With respect to municipal securities borrowed or loaned, the date borrowed or loaned, the name of the person from whom borrowed or to whom loaned, the description and the aggregate par value of the securities borrowed or loaned, the value at which the securities were borrowed or loaned, and the date returned.

(D) Municipal securities transactions not completed on settlement date. With respect to municipal securities transactions not completed on the settlement date, the description and the aggregate par value of the securities which are the subject of such transactions, the purchase price (with respect to a purchase transaction not completed on the settlement date), the sale price (with respect to a sale transaction not completed on the settlement date), the name of the customer, broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer from whom delivery is due or to whom delivery is to be made, and the date on which the securities are received or delivered. All municipal securities transactions with brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers not completed on the settlement date shall be separately identifiable as such. For purposes of this rule, the term "settlement date" means the date upon which delivery of the securities is due in a purchase or sale transaction.

Such records shall be maintained as subsidiary records to the general ledger maintained by such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer. Anything herein to the contrary notwithstanding, the requirements of this subparagraph will be satisfied if the information described is readily obtainable from other records maintained by such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer.

(v) Put Options and Repurchase Agreements. Records of all options (whether written or oral) to sell municipal securities (i.e., put options) and of all repurchase agreements (whether written or oral) with respect to municipal securities, in which such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer has any direct or indirect interest or which such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer has granted or guaranteed, showing the description and aggregate par value of the securities, and the terms and conditions of the option, agreement or guarantee.

(vi) Records for Agency Transactions. A memorandum of each agency order and any instructions given or received for the purchase or sale of municipal securities pursuant to such order, showing the terms and conditions of the order and instructions, and any modification thereof, the account for which entered, the date and time of receipt of the order by such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer, the price at which executed, the date of execution and, to the extent feasible, the time of execution and, if such order is entered pursuant to a power of attorney or on behalf of a joint account, corporation or partnership, the name and address (if other than that of the account) of the person who entered the order. If an agency order is canceled by a customer, such records shall also show the terms, conditions and date of cancellation, and, to the extent feasible, the time of cancellation. Orders entered pursuant to the exercise of discretionary power by such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer shall be designated as such. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term "agency order" shall mean an order given to a broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer to buy a specific security from another person or to sell a specific security to another person, in either case without such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer acquiring ownership of the security. Customer inquiries of a general nature concerning the availability of securities for purchase or opportunities for sale shall not be considered to be orders. For purposes of this subparagraph and subparagraph (vii) below, the term "memorandum" shall mean a trading ticket or other similar record. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term "instructions" shall mean instructions transmitted within an office with respect to the execution of an agency order, including, but not limited to, instructions transmitted from a sales desk to a trading desk.

(vii) Records for Transactions as Principal. A memorandum of each transaction in municipal securities (whether purchase or sale) for the account of such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer, showing the price and date of execution and, to the extent feasible, the time of execution; and in the event such purchase or sale is with a customer, a record of the customer’s order, showing the date and time of receipt, the terms and conditions of the order, and the name or other designation of the account in which it was entered and, if such order is entered pursuant to a power of attorney or on behalf of a joint account, corporation, or partnership, the name and address (if other than that of the account) of the person who entered the order.

(viii) Records Concerning Primary Offerings.

(A) For each primary offering for which a syndicate has been formed for the purchase of municipal securities, records shall be maintained by the syndicate manager showing the description and aggregate par value of the securities; the name and percentage of participation of each member of the syndicate; the terms and conditions governing the formation and operation of the syndicate; a statement of all terms and conditions required by the issuer (including, those of any retail order period, if applicable); all orders received for the purchase of the securities from the syndicate and selling group, if any; the information required to be submitted pursuant to Rule G-11(k); all pricing information required to be distributed pursuant to Rule G-11(f); all allotments of securities and the price at which sold; those instances in which the syndicate manager allocated securities in a manner other than in accordance with the priority provisions, including those instances in which the syndicate manager accorded equal or greater priority over other orders to orders by syndicate members for their own accounts or their respective related accounts; and the specific reasons for doing so; the date and amount of any good faith deposit made to the issuer; the date of settlement with the issuer; the date of closing of the account; and a reconciliation of profits and expenses of the account.

(B) For each primary offering for which a syndicate has not been formed for the purchase of municipal securities, records shall be maintained by the sole underwriter showing the description and aggregate par value of the securities; all terms and conditions required by the issuer (including, those of any retail order period, if applicable); all orders received for the purchase of the securities from the underwriter; the information required to be submitted pursuant to Rule G-11(k); all allotments of securities and the price at which sold; those instances in which the underwriter accorded equal or greater priority over other orders to orders for its own account or its related accounts, and the specific reasons for doing so; the date and amount of any good faith deposit made to the issuer; and the date of settlement with the issuer. 

(ix) Copies of Confirmations, Periodic Statements and Certain Other Notices to Customers.  A copy of all confirmations of purchase or sale of municipal securities, of all periodic written statements disclosing purchases, sales or redemptions of municipal fund securities pursuant to rule G-15(a)(viii), of written disclosures to customers, if any, as required under rule G-15(f)(iii) and, in the case of a broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer other than a bank dealer, of all other notices sent to customers concerning debits and credits to customer accounts or, in the case of a bank dealer, notices of debits and credits for municipal securities, cash and other items with respect to transactions in municipal securities.

(x) Financial Records. Every broker, dealer and municipal securities dealer subject to the provisions of rule 15c3-1 under the Act shall make and keep current the books and records described in subparagraphs (a)(2), (a)(4)(iv) and (vi), and (a)(11) of rule 17a-3 under the Act.

(xi) Customer Account Information. A record for each customer, other than an institutional account, setting forth the following information to the extent applicable to such customer:

(A) customer's name and residence or principal business address;

(B) whether customer is of legal age;

(C) tax identification or social security number;

(D) occupation;

(E) name and address of employer;

(F) information about the customer obtained pursuant to rule G-19 or, for a retail customer, as defined in Rule 15l-1(b)(1) under the Act (“Regulation Best Interest”), to whom a recommendation of any securities transaction or investment strategy involving municipal securities is or will be provided, a record of all information collected from and provided to the retail customer pursuant to Regulation Best Interest, as well as the identity of each natural person who is an associated person, if any, responsible for the account. The neglect, refusal, or inability of the retail customer to provide or update any information described in this paragraph shall excuse the dealer from obtaining that required information;

(G) name and address of beneficial owner or owners of such account if other than the customer and transactions are to be confirmed to such owner or owners;

(H) signature of municipal securities representative, general securities representative or limited representative --  investment company and variable contracts products introducing the account and signature of a municipal securities principal, municipal securities sales principal or general securities principal indicating acceptance of the account;

(I) with respect to discretionary accounts, customer's written authorization to exercise discretionary power or authority with respect to the account, written approval of municipal securities principal or municipal securities sales principal who supervises the account, and written approval of municipal securities principal or municipal securities sales principal with respect to each transaction in the account, indicating the time and date of approval;

(J) whether customer is employed by another broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer;

(K) in connection with the hypothecation of the customer's securities, the written authorization of, or the notice provided to, the customer in accordance with Commission rules 8c-1 and 15c2-1; and

(L) with respect to official communications, customer's written authorization, if any, that the customer does not object to the disclosure of its name, security position(s) and contact information to a party identified in G-15(g)(iii)(A)(1) for purposes of transmitting official communications under G-15(g).

(M) Predispute Arbitration Agreements with Customers.

(1) Any predispute arbitration clause shall be highlighted and shall be immediately preceded by the following language in outline form:

This agreement contains a predispute arbitration clause. By signing an arbitration agreement the parties agree as follows:

(a) All parties to this agreement are giving up the right to sue each other in court, including the right to a trial by jury, except as provided by the rules of the arbitration forum in which a claim is filed.

(b) Arbitration awards are generally final and binding; a party's ability to have a court reverse or modify an arbitration award is very limited.

(c) The ability of the parties to obtain documents, witness statements and other discovery is generally more limited in arbitration than in court proceedings.

(d) The arbitrators do not have to explain the reason(s) for their award.

(e) The panel of arbitrators will typically include a minority of arbitrators who were or are affiliated with the securities industry.

(f) The rules of some arbitration forums may impose time limits for bringing a claim in arbitration. In some cases, a claim that is ineligible for arbitration may be brought in court.

(g) The rules of the arbitration forum in which the claim is filed, and any amendments thereto, shall be incorporated into this agreement.

(2)    (a) In any agreement containing a predispute arbitration agreement, there shall be a highlighted statement immediately preceding any signature line or other place for indicating agreement that states that the agreement contains a predispute arbitration clause. The statement shall also indicate at what page and paragraph the arbitration clause is located.

(b) Within thirty days of signing, a copy of the agreement containing any such clause shall be given to the customer who shall acknowledge receipt thereof on the agreement or on a separate document.

(3)    (a) A broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer shall provide a customer with a copy of any predispute arbitration clause or customer agreement executed between the customer and the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer, or inform the customer that the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer does not have a copy thereof, within ten business days of receipt of the customer's request. If a customer requests such a copy before the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer has provided the customer with a copy pursuant to subparagraph (2)(b) above, the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer must provide a copy to the customer by the earlier date required by this subparagraph (3)(a) or by subparagraph (2)(b) above.

(b) Upon request by a customer, a broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer shall provide the customer with the names of, and information on how to contact or obtain the rules of, all arbitration forums in which a claim may be filed under the agreement.

(4) No predispute arbitration agreement shall include any condition that: (i) limits or contradicts the rules of any self-regulatory organization; (ii) limits the ability of a party to file any claim in arbitration; (iii) limits the ability of a party to file any claim in court permitted to be filed in court under the rules of the forums in which a claim may be filed under the agreement; (iv) limits the ability of arbitrators to make any award.

(5) If a customer files a complaint in court against a broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer that contains claims that are subject to arbitration pursuant to a predispute arbitration agreement between the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer and the customer, the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer may seek to compel arbitration of the claims that are subject to arbitration. If the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer seeks to compel arbitration of such claims, the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer must agree to arbitrate all of the claims contained in the complaint if the customer so requests.

(6) All agreements shall include a statement that "No person shall bring a putative or certified class action to arbitration, nor seek to enforce any predispute arbitration agreement against any person who has initiated in court a putative class action; who is a member of a putative class who has not opted out of the class with respect to any claims encompassed by the putative class action until: (i) the class certification is denied; or (ii) the class is decertified; or (iii) the customer is excluded from the class by the court. Such forbearance to enforce an agreement to arbitrate shall not constitute a waiver of any rights under this agreement except to the extent stated herein."

(7) These provisions of Rule G-8(a)(xi)(M) are effective as of May 1, 2005.

For purposes of this subparagraph, the terms "general securities representative," "general securities principal" and "limited representative - investment company and variable contracts products" shall mean such persons as so defined by the rules of a national securities exchange or registered securities association. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term "institutional account" shall mean the account of (i) a bank, savings and loan association, insurance company, or registered investment company; (ii) an investment adviser registered either with the Commission under Section 203 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 or with a state securities commission (or any agency or office performing like functions); or (iii) any other entity (whether a natural person, corporation, partnership, trust, or otherwise) with total assets of at least $50 million. Anything in this subparagraph to the contrary notwithstanding, every broker, dealer and municipal securities dealer shall maintain a record of the information required by items (A), (C), (F), (H), (I) and (K) of this subparagraph with respect to each customer which is an institutional account.

(xii) Customer Complaints. A record of all written complaints of customers, and persons acting on behalf of customers that are received by the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer. This record must include the complainant’s name, address, and account number; the date the complaint was received; the date of the activity that gave rise to the complaint; the name of each associated person of the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer identified in the complaint; a description of the nature of the complaint; and what action, if any, has been taken by such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer in connection with each such complaint. In addition, this record must be kept in an electronic format using the complaint product and problem codes set forth in the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Rule G-8 Customer and Municipal Advisory Client Complaint Product and Problem Codes Guide. 

The term “written,” for the purposes of this paragraph, shall include electronic correspondence. The term “complaint” shall mean any written statement alleging a grievance involving the activities of the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer or any associated persons of such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer with respect to any matter involving a customer’s account.

 

(xiii) Records Concerning Disclosures in Connection With Primary Offerings Pursuant to Rule G-32.  A record:

(A) of all documents, notices or written disclosures provided by the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer to purchasers of offered municipal securities under Rule G-32(a);

(B) if applicable, evidencing compliance with subsection (a)(v) of Rule G-32; and

(C) of all documents, notices and information required to be submitted to the Board by the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer, in the capacity of underwriter in a primary offering of municipal securities (or, in the event a syndicate or similar account has been formed for the purpose of underwriting the issue, the managing underwriter), under Rule G-32(b), to the extent that any such information is not included in the information submitted through NIIDS (as defined in Rule G-34(a)(ii)(C)(3)(b)) in satisfaction of the requirements of Rule G-32(b) and maintained pursuant to subsection (a)(xxiii) of this rule.

(xiv) Designation of Persons Responsible for Recordkeeping. A record of all designations of persons responsible for the maintenance and preservation of books and records as required by rule G-27(b)(ii).

(xv) Records Concerning Delivery of Official Statements, Advance Refunding Documents and Forms G-36(OS) and G-36(ARD) to the Board or its Designee Pursuant to Former Rule G-36. In connection with each primary offering of municipal securities subject to former Rule G-36 for which a broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer acted as an underwriter (or, in the event a syndicate or similar account has been formed for the purpose of underwriting the issue, the managing underwriter) and was required under the provisions of former Rule G-36 to send to the Board an official statement prior to June 1, 2009, such underwriter shall maintain, to the extent not maintained pursuant to subsection (a)(xiii) of this Rule G-8:

(A) a record of the name, par amount and CUSIP number or numbers for all such primary offerings of municipal securities; the dates that the documents and written information referred to in former Rule G-36 were received from the issuer and were sent to the Board or its designee; the date of delivery of the issue to the underwriters; and, for issues subject to Securities Exchange Act Rule 15c2-12, the date of the final agreement to purchase, offer or sell the municipal securities; and

(B) copies of the Forms G-36(OS) and G-36(ARD) and documents submitted to the Board or its designee along with the certified or registered mail receipt or other record of sending such forms and documents to the Board or its designee.

For purposes of this subsection (a)(xv), the term "former Rule G-36" means Rule G-36 of the Board in effect on May 31, 2009.

(xvi) Records Concerning Political Contributions and Prohibitions on Municipal Securities Business Pursuant to Rule G-37. Records reflecting:

(A) a listing of the names, titles, city/county and state of residence of all municipal finance professionals;

(B) a listing of the names, titles, city/county and state of residence of all non-MFP executive officers;

(C) the states in which the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer is engaging or is seeking to engage in municipal securities business;

(D) a listing of municipal entities with which the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer has engaged in municipal securities business, along with the type of municipal securities business engaged in, during the current year and separate listings for each of the previous two calendar years;

(E) the contributions, direct or indirect, to officials of a municipal entity and payments, direct or indirect, made to political parties of states and political subdivisions, by the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer and each political action committee controlled by the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer for the current year and separate listings for each of the previous two calendar years, which records shall include: (i) the identity of the contributors, (ii) the names and titles (including any city/county/state or other political subdivision) of the recipients of such contributions and payments, and (iii) the amounts and dates of such contributions and payments;

(F) the contributions, direct or indirect, to officials of a municipal entity made by each municipal finance professional, any political action committee controlled by a municipal finance professional, and non-MFP executive officer for the current year, which records shall include: (i) the names, titles, city/county and state of residence of contributors, (ii) the names and titles (including any city/county/state or other political subdivision) of the recipients of such contributions, (iii) the amounts and dates of such contributions; and (iv) whether any such contribution was the subject of an automatic exemption, pursuant to Rule G-37(j), including the amount of the contribution, the date the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer discovered the contribution, the name of the contributor, and the date the contributor obtained a return of the contribution; provided, however, that such records need not reflect any contribution made by a municipal finance professional or non-MFP executive officer to officials of a municipal entity for whom such person is entitled to vote if the contributions made by such person, in total, are not in excess of $250 to any official of a municipal entity, per election. In addition, brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers shall maintain separate listings for each of the previous two calendar years containing the information required pursuant to this subparagraph (F) for each municipal finance representative and each dealer solicitor as defined in Rule G-37(g)(ii) and for any political action committee controlled by such individuals, and separate listings for the previous six months containing the information required pursuant to this subparagraph (F) for each municipal finance principal, dealer supervisory chain person and dealer executive officer as defined in Rule G-37(g)(ii) and for any political action committee controlled by such individuals and for any non-MFP executive officers;

(G) the payments, direct or indirect, to political parties of states and political subdivisions made by all municipal finance professionals, any political action committee controlled by a municipal finance professional, and non-MFP executive officers for the current year, which records shall include: (i) the names, titles, city/county and state of residence of contributors, (ii) the names, and titles (including any city/county/state or other political subdivision) of the recipients of such payments and (iii) the amounts and dates of such payments; provided, however, that such records need not reflect those payments made by any municipal finance professional or non-MFP executive officer to a political party of a state or political subdivision in which such persons are entitled to vote if the payments made by such person, in total, are not in excess of $250 per political party, per year. In addition, brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers shall maintain separate listings for each of the previous two calendar years containing the information required pursuant to this subparagraph (G) for each municipal finance representative and each dealer solicitor as defined in Rule G-37(g)(ii) and for any political action committee controlled by such individuals, and separate listings for the previous six months containing the information required pursuant to this subparagraph (G) for each municipal finance principal, dealer supervisory chain person and dealer executive officer as defined in Rule G-37(g)(ii) and for any political action committee controlled by such individuals and for any non-MFP executive officers;

(H) the contributions, direct or indirect, to bond ballot campaigns made by the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer and each political action committee controlled by the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer for the current year, which records shall include: (i) the identity of the contributors, (ii) the official name of each bond ballot campaign receiving such contributions, and the jurisdiction (including city/county/state or political subdivision) by or for which municipal securities, if approved, would be issued, (iii) the amounts (which, in the case of in-kind contributions, must include both the value and the nature of the goods or services provided, including any ancillary services provided to, on behalf of, or in furtherance of the bond ballot campaign) and the specific dates of such contributions, (iv) the full name of the municipal entity and full issue description of any primary offering resulting from the bond ballot campaign to which the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer or political action committee controlled by the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer has made a contribution and the reportable date of selection on which the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer was selected to engage in the municipal securities business, and (v) the payments or reimbursements, related to any bond ballot contribution, received by the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer from any third party that are required to be disclosed under Rule G-37(e)(i)(B), including the amount paid and the name of the third party making such payment; and

(I) the contributions, direct or indirect, to bond ballot campaigns made by each municipal finance professional, any political action committee controlled by a municipal finance professional, and non-MFP executive officer for the current year, which records shall include: (i) the names, titles, city/county and state of residence of contributors, (ii) the official name of each bond ballot campaign receiving such contributions, and the jurisdiction (including city/county/state or political subdivision) by or for which municipal securities, if approved, would be issued, (iii) the amounts (which, in the case of in-kind contributions, must include both the value and the nature of the goods or services provided, including any ancillary services provided to, on behalf of, or in furtherance of the bond ballot campaign) and the specific dates of such contributions, (iv) the full name of the municipal entity and full issue description of any primary offering resulting from the bond ballot campaign to which the municipal finance professional, political action committee controlled by the municipal finance professional or non-MFP executive officer has made a contribution required to be disclosed under Rule G-37(e)(i)(B), or to which a contribution has been made by a municipal finance professional or a non-MFP executive officer during the period beginning two years prior to such individual becoming a municipal finance professional or a non-MFP executive officer that would have been required to be disclosed if such individual had been a municipal finance professional or a non-MFP executive officer at the time of such contribution and the reportable date of selection on which the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer was selected to engage in the municipal securities business, and (v) the payments or reimbursements, related to any bond ballot contribution, received by the municipal finance professional or non-MFP executive officer from any third party that are required to be disclosed by Rule G-37(e)(i)(B), including the amount paid and the name of the third party making such payment or reimbursement; provided, however, that such records need not reflect any contribution made by a municipal finance professional or non-MFP executive officer to a bond ballot campaign for a ballot initiative with respect to which such person is entitled to vote if the contributions made by such person, in total, are not in excess of $250 to any bond ballot campaign, per ballot initiative.

(J) Brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers shall maintain copies of the Forms G-37 and G-37x submitted to the Board along with a record of submitting such forms to the Board.

(K) Terms used in this paragraph (xvi) have the same meaning as in Rule G-37.

(L) No record is required by this paragraph (a)(xvi) of (i) any municipal securities business done or contribution to officials of issuers or political parties of states or political subdivisions made prior to April 25, 1994 or (ii) any payment to political parties of states or political subdivisions made prior to March 6, 1995.

(M) No broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer shall be subject to the requirements of this paragraph (a)(xvi) during any period that such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer has qualified for and invoked the exemption set forth in clause (B) of paragraph (e)(ii) of Rule G-37; provided, however, that such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer shall remain obligated to comply with clause (H) of this paragraph (a)(xvi) during such period of exemption. At such time as a broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer that has been exempted by this clause (M) from the requirements of this paragraph (a)(xvi) engages in any municipal securities business, all requirements of this paragraph (a)(xvi) covering the periods of time set forth herein (beginning with the then current calendar year and the two preceding calendar years) shall become applicable to such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer.

(xvii) Records Concerning Compliance with Rule G-20. Each broker, dealer and municipal securities dealer shall maintain:

(A) a separate record of any gift or gratuity subject to the general limitation of Rule G-20(c);

(B) all agreements referred to in Rule G-20(f) and records of all compensation paid as a result of those agreements; and

(C) records of all non-cash compensation referred to in Rule G-20(g).  The records shall include the name of the person or entity making the payment, the name(s) of the associated person(s) receiving the payments (if applicable), and the nature (including the location of meetings described in Rule G-20(g)(iii), if applicable) and value of non-cash compensation received.

(xviii) Records Concerning Consultants Pursuant to Former Rule G-38. Each broker, dealer and municipal securities dealer shall maintain:

(A) a listing of the name of the consultant pursuant to the Consultant Agreement, business address, role (including the state or geographic area in which the consultant is working on behalf of the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer) and compensation arrangement of each consultant;

(B) a copy of each Consultant Agreement referred to in former rule G-38(b);

(C) a listing of the compensation paid in connection with each such Consultant Agreement;

(D) where applicable, a listing of the municipal securities business obtained or retained through the activities of each consultant;

(E) a listing of issuers and a record of disclosures made to such issuers, pursuant to former rule G-38(d), concerning each consultant used by the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer to obtain or retain municipal securities business with each such issuer;

(F) records of each reportable political contribution (as defined in former rule G-38(a)(vi)), which records shall include:

(1) the names, city/county and state of residence of contributors;

(2) the names and titles (including any city/county/state or other political subdivision) of the recipients of such contributions; and

(3) the amounts and dates of such contributions;

(G) records of each reportable political party payment (as defined in former rule G-38(a)(vii)), which records shall include:

(1) the names, city/county and state of residence of contributors;

(2) the names and titles (including any city/county/state or other political subdivision) of the recipients of such payments; and

(3) the amounts and dates of such payments;

(H) records indicating, if applicable, that a consultant made no reportable political contributions (as defined in former rule G-38(a)(vi)) or no reportable political party payments (as defined in former rule G-38(a)(vii));

(I) a statement, if applicable, that a consultant failed to provide any report of information to the dealer concerning reportable political contributions or reportable political party payments;

(J) the date of termination of any consultant arrangement; and

(K) copies of the Forms G-38t sent to the Board along with the certified or registered mail receipt or other record of sending such forms to the Board.

For purposes of this clause (xviii), the term "former rule G-38" shall have the meaning set forth in Rule G-38(c)(ii).

(xix) Negotiable Instruments Drawn From a Customer's Account. No broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer or person associated with such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer shall obtain from a customer or submit for payment a check, draft or other form of negotiable paper drawn on a customer's checking, savings, share, or similar account, without that person's express written authorization, which may include the customer's signature on the negotiable instrument.

(xx) Records Concerning Compliance with Rule G-27. Each broker, dealer and municipal securities dealer shall maintain the records required under G-27(c), G-27(d) and G-27(e).

(xxi) Records Concerning Sign-in Logs for In-Firm Delivery of the Regulatory Element Continuing Education. If applicable, each broker, dealer and municipal securities dealer shall maintain the records required by rule G-3(h)(i)(G)(6)(c).

(xxii) Records Concerning Compliance with Rule G-34(c).

(A) A broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer that acts as a Program Dealer, as defined in Rule G-34(c)(i)(A)(1), for an Auction Rate Security shall maintain:

(1) a record of the name of and CUSIP number or numbers for all such Auction Rate Securities for which the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer acts as a Program Dealer;

(2) a record of all information submitted to and received from an Auction Agent as defined in Rule G-34(c)(i) with respect to an auction; and

(3) all information and documents required to be submitted to the Board by the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer under Rule G-34(c)(i).

(B) A broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer that acts as a Remarketing Agent, as defined in Rule G-34(c)(ii), for a Variable Rate Demand Obligation shall maintain:

(1) a record of the name of and CUSIP number or numbers for all such Variable Rate Demand Obligations for which the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer acts as a Remarketing Agent; and

(2) all information and documents required to be submitted to the Board by the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer under Rule G-34(c)(ii); and

(3) for documents detailing provisions of liquidity facilities identified in Rule G-34(c)(ii)(B)(1) associated with the Variable Rate Demand Obligation for which the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer acts as a Remarketing Agent that are unable to be obtained through best efforts, a record of such efforts undertaken.

(xxiii) Records Concerning Compliance with Rule G-34(a)(ii)(C).  A broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer that acts as an underwriter in a primary offering of municipal securities subject to Rule G-34(a)(ii)(C)(1) shall maintain:

(A) a record of the Time of Formal Award;

(B) a record of the Time of First Execution; and

(C) a record of all information submitted to NIIDS (as defined in Rule G-34(a)(ii)(C)(3)(b)) as required elements for “Trade Eligibility” and of the time the new issue received "Trade Eligibility" status in NIIDS.

(xxiv) Records of Secondary Market Trading Account Transactions. With respect to each secondary market trading account formed for the purchase of municipal securities, records shall be maintained by the broker, dealer, or municipal securities dealer designated by the account to maintain the books and records of the account, showing the description and aggregate par value of the securities; the name and percentage of participation of each member of the account; the terms and conditions governing the formation and operation of the account; all orders received for the purchase of the securities from the account; all allotments of securities and the price at which sold; the date of closing of the account; and a reconciliation of profits and expenses of the account.

(xxv) Broker’s Brokers.  A broker’s broker (as defined in Rule G-43(d)(iii)) shall maintain the following records with respect to its municipal securities activities:

(A) all bids to purchase municipal securities, together with the time of receipt;

(B) all offers to sell municipal securities, together with the time the broker’s broker first receives the offering and the time the offering is updated for display or distribution;

(C) the time that the high bid is provided to the seller; the time that the seller notifies the broker’s broker that it will sell the securities at the high bid; and the time of execution of the trade;

(D) for each communication with a seller or bidder pursuant to Rule G-43(b)(iv), the date and time of the communication; whether the bid deviated from the predetermined parameters and, if so, the amount of the deviation; the full name of the person contacted at the bidder; the full name of the person contacted at the seller, if applicable; the direction provided by the bidder to the broker’s broker following the communication; the direction provided by the seller to the broker’s broker following the communication, if applicable; and the full name of the person at the bidder, or seller if applicable, who provided that direction;

(E) for each communication with a seller pursuant to Rule G-43(b)(v), the date and time of the communication; the amount by which the bid deviated from the predetermined parameters; the full name of the person contacted at the seller; the direction provided by the seller to the broker’s broker following the communication; and the full name of the person at the seller who provided that direction;

(F) for all changed bids, the full name of the person at the bidder that authorized the change and the full name of the person at the broker’s broker at whose direction the change was made;

(G) for all changes in offering prices, the full name of the person at the seller that authorized the change and the full name of the person at the broker’s broker at whose direction the change was made;

(H) a copy of any writings by which the seller and bidders agreed that the broker’s broker represents either the bidders or both seller and bidders, rather than the seller alone, which writings shall include the dates and times such writings were executed; and the full names of the signatories to such writings;

(I) a copy of the policies and procedures required by Rule G-43(c);

(J) a copy of its predetermined parameters (as defined in Rule G-43(d)(viii)), its analysis of why those predetermined parameters were reasonably designed to identify most bids that might not represent the fair market value of municipal securities that were the subject of bid-wanteds to which the parameters were applied, and the results of the periodic tests of such predetermined parameters required by Rule G-43(c)(i)(F); and

(K) if a broker’s broker trading system is a separately operated and supervised division or unit of a broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer, there must be separately maintained in or separately extractable from such division’s or unit’s own facilities or the facilities of the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer, all of the records relating to the activities of the broker’s broker or alternative trading system, and such records shall be so maintained or otherwise accessible as to permit independent examination thereof and enforcement of applicable provisions of the Act, the rules and regulations thereunder, and the rules of the Board.

(xxvi) Alternative Trading Systems.  An alternative trading system registered as such with the Commission shall maintain the following records with respect to its municipal securities activities:

(A) for all changed bids, the full name of the person at the bidder firm that authorized the change and the full name of the person at the alternative trading system at whose direction the change was made;

(B) for all changes in offering prices, the full name of the person at the seller firm that authorized the change and the full name of the person at the alternative trading system at whose direction the change was made;

(C) a copy of the policies and procedures required by Rule G-43(d)(iii)(C); and

(D) if the alternative trading system is a separately operated and supervised division or unit of a broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer, there must be separately maintained in or separately extractable from such division’s or unit’s own facilities or the facilities of the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer, all of the records relating to the municipal securities activities of the alternative trading system, and such records shall be so maintained or otherwise accessible as to permit independent examination thereof and enforcement of applicable provisions of the Act, the rules and regulations thereunder, and the rules of the Board.

 
(xxvii) A record of the date that each Form CRS was provided to each retail investor, as defined in Rule 17a-14 under the Act, including any Form CRS provided before such retail investor opens an account.

(b) Manner in which Books and Records are to be Maintained. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to require a broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer to maintain the books and records required by this rule in any given manner, provided that the information required to be shown is clearly and accurately reflected thereon and provides an adequate basis for the audit of such information, nor to require a broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer to maintain its books and records relating to transactions in municipal securities separate and apart from books and records relating to transactions in other types of securities; provided, however, that in the case of a bank dealer, all records relating to transactions in municipal securities effected by such bank dealer must be separately extractable from all other records maintained by the bank.

(c) Non-Clearing Brokers, Dealers and Municipal Securities Dealers. A broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer which executes transactions in municipal securities but clears such transactions through a clearing broker, dealer, or bank, or through a clearing agency, 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, bank or clearing agency; provided that, in the case of a broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer other than a bank dealer, the arrangements with such clearing broker, dealer or bank meet all applicable requirements prescribed in subparagraph (b) of rule 17a-3 under the Act, or the arrangements with such clearing agency have been approved by the Commission or, in the case of a bank dealer, such arrangements have been approved by the appropriate regulatory agency for such bank dealer; and further provided that such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer shall remain responsible for the accurate maintenance and preservation of such books and records if they are maintained by a clearing agent other than a clearing broker or dealer.

(d) Introducing Brokers, Dealers and Municipal Securities Dealers. A broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer which, as an introducing broker, dealer 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.

(e) Definitions.

 

(i) Customer. For purposes of this rule, the term “customer” shall not include a broker, dealer, municipal securities dealer or municipal advisor acting in its capacity as such or the issuer of the securities which are the subject of the transaction in question.

(ii) Municipal Advisory Client. For the purposes of paragraph (h)(vi) of this rule, the term “municipal advisory client” shall include either a municipal entity or obligated person for whom the municipal advisor engages in municipal advisory activities as defined in Rule G-42(f)(iv), or a broker, dealer, municipal securities dealer, municipal advisor, or investment adviser (as defined in section 202 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940) on behalf of whom the municipal advisor undertakes a solicitation of a municipal entity or obligated person, as defined in Rule 15Ba1-1(n), 17 CFR 240.15Ba1-1(n), under the Act.

(f) Compliance with Rule 17a-3. Brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers other than bank dealers which are in compliance with rule 17a-3 of the Commission will be deemed to be in compliance with the requirements of this rule, provided that the information required by subparagraph (a)(iv)(D) of this rule as it relates to uncompleted transactions involving customers; paragraph (a)(viii); and paragraphs (a)(xi) through (a)(xxvi) shall in any event be maintained.

(g) Transactions in Municipal Fund Securities. 

(i) Books and Records Maintained by Transfer Agents. Books and records required to be maintained by a broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer under this rule solely with respect to transactions in municipal fund securities may be maintained by a transfer agent registered under Section 17A(c)(2) of the Act used by such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer in connection with such transactions; provided that such broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer shall remain responsible for the accurate maintenance and preservation of such books and records. 

(ii) Price Substituted for Par Value of Municipal Fund Securities. For purposes of this rule, each reference to the term "par value," when applied to a municipal fund security, shall be substituted with (A) in the case of a purchase of a municipal fund security by a customer, the purchase price paid by the customer, exclusive of any commission, and (B) in the case of a sale or tender for redemption of a municipal fund security by a customer, the sale price or redemption amount paid to the customer, exclusive of any commission or other charge imposed upon redemption or sale.

 

(iii) Underwriters of Municipal Fund Securities That Are Not Local Government Investment Pools. An underwriter (as defined in Rule G-45(d)(xiv)) shall maintain the information required to be reported on Form G-45.

 

(h) Municipal Advisor Records. Every municipal advisor that is registered or required to be registered under Section 15B of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder shall make and keep current the following books and records:

(i) General Business Records. All books and records described in Rule 15Ba1-8(a)(1)-(8) under the Act.

(ii) Records Concerning Compliance with Rule G-20.

(A) a separate record of any gift or gratuity subject to the general limitation of Rule G-20(c); and

(B) all agreements referred to in Rule G-20(f) and records of all compensation paid as a result of those agreements.

(iii) Records Concerning Political Contributions and Prohibitions on Municipal Advisory Business Pursuant to Rule G-37. Records reflecting:

(A) a listing of the names, titles, city/county and state of residence of all municipal advisor professionals;

(B) a listing of the names, titles, city/county and state of residence of all non-MAP executive officers;

(C) the states in which the municipal advisor is engaging or is seeking to engage in municipal advisory business;

(D) a listing of municipal entities with which the municipal advisor has engaged in municipal advisory business, along with the type of municipal advisory business engaged in, during the current year and separate listings for each of the previous two calendar years;

(E) the contributions, direct or indirect, to officials of a municipal entity and payments, direct or indirect, made to political parties of states and political subdivisions, by the municipal advisor and each political action committee controlled by the municipal advisor for the current year and separate listings for each of the previous two calendar years, which records shall include: (i) the identity of the contributors, (ii) the names and titles (including any city/county/state or other political subdivision) of the recipients of such contributions and payments, and (iii) the amounts and dates of such contributions and payments;

(F) the contributions, direct or indirect, to officials of a municipal entity made by each municipal advisor professional, any political action committee controlled by a municipal advisor professional, and non-MAP executive officer for the current year, which records shall include: (i) the names, titles, city/county and state of residence of contributors, (ii) the names and titles (including any city/county/state or other political subdivision) of the recipients of such contributions, (iii) the amounts and dates of such contributions; and (iv) whether any such contribution was the subject of an automatic exemption, pursuant to Rule G-37(j), including the amount of the contribution, the date the municipal advisor discovered the contribution, the name of the contributor, and the date the contributor obtained a return of the contribution; provided, however, that such records need not reflect any contribution made by a municipal advisor professional or non-MAP executive officer to officials of a municipal entity for whom such person is entitled to vote if the contributions made by such person, in total, are not in excess of $250 to any official of a municipal entity, per election. In addition, municipal advisors shall maintain separate listings for each of the previous two calendar years containing the information required pursuant to this subparagraph (F) for each municipal advisor representative and each municipal advisor solicitor as defined in  Rule G-37(g)(iii) and for any political action committee controlled by such individuals, and separate listings for the previous six months containing the information required pursuant to this subparagraph (F) for each municipal advisor principal, municipal advisor supervisory chain person and municipal advisor executive officer as defined in Rule G-37(g)(iii) and for any political action committee controlled by such individuals and for any non-MAP executive officers;

(G) the payments, direct or indirect, to political parties of states and political subdivisions made by all municipal advisor professionals, any political action committee controlled by a municipal advisor professional, and non-MAP executive officers for the current year, which records shall include: (i) the names, titles, city/county and state of residence of contributors, (ii) the names, and titles (including any city/county/state or other political subdivision) of the recipients of such payments and (iii) the amounts and dates of such payments; provided, however, that such records need not reflect those payments made by any municipal advisor professional or non-MAP executive officer to a political party of a state or political subdivision in which such persons are entitled to vote if the payments made by such person, in total, are not in excess of $250 per political party, per year. In addition, municipal advisors shall maintain separate listings for each of the previous two calendar years containing the information required pursuant to this subparagraph (G) for each municipal advisor representative and each municipal advisor solicitor as defined in Rule G-37(g)(iii) and for any political action committee controlled by such individuals, and separate listings for the previous six months containing the information required pursuant to this subparagraph (G) for each municipal advisor principal, municipal advisor supervisory chain person and municipal advisor executive officer as defined in Rule G-37(g)(iii) and for any political action committee controlled by such individuals and for any non-MAP executive officers;

(H) the contributions, direct or indirect, to bond ballot campaigns made by the municipal advisor and each political action committee controlled by the municipal advisor for the current year, which records shall include: (i) the identity of the contributors, (ii) the official name of each bond ballot campaign receiving such contributions, and the jurisdiction (including city/county/state or political subdivision) by or for which municipal securities, if approved, would be issued, (iii) the amounts (which, in the case of in-kind contributions, must include both the value and the nature of the goods or services provided, including any ancillary services provided to, on behalf of, or in furtherance of the bond ballot campaign) and the specific dates of such contributions, (iv) the full name of the municipal entity and full issue description of any primary offering resulting from the bond ballot campaign to which the municipal advisor or political action committee controlled by the municipal advisor has made a contribution and the reportable date of selection on which the municipal advisor was selected to engage in the municipal advisory business, and (v) the payments or reimbursements, related to any bond ballot contribution, received by the municipal advisor from any third party that are required to be disclosed under Rule G-37(e)(i)(B), including the amount paid and the name of the third party making such payment; and

(I) the contributions, direct or indirect, to bond ballot campaigns made by each municipal advisor professional, any political action committee controlled by a municipal advisor professional, and non-MAP executive officer for the current year, which records shall include: (i) the names, titles, city/county and state of residence of contributors, (ii) the official name of each bond ballot campaign receiving such contributions, and the jurisdiction (including city/county/state or political subdivision) by or for which municipal securities, if approved, would be issued, (iii) the amounts (which, in the case of in-kind contributions, must include both the value and the nature of the goods or services provided, including any ancillary services provided to, on behalf of, or in furtherance of the bond ballot campaign) and the specific dates of such contributions, (iv) the full name of the municipal entity and full issue description of any primary offering resulting from the bond ballot campaign to which the municipal advisor professional, political action committee controlled by the municipal advisor professional or non-MAP executive officer has made a contribution required to be disclosed under Rule G-37(e)(i)(B), or to which a contribution has been made by a municipal advisor professional or a non-MAP executive officer during the period beginning two years prior to such individual becoming a municipal advisor professional or a non-MAP executive officer that would have been required to be disclosed if such individual had been a municipal advisor professional or a non-MAP executive officer at the time of such contribution and the reportable date of selection on which the municipal advisor was selected to engage in the municipal advisory business, and (v) the payments or reimbursements, related to any bond ballot contribution, received by the municipal advisor professional or non-MAP executive officer from any third party that are required to be disclosed by Rule G-37(e)(i)(B), including the amount paid and the name of the third party making such payment or reimbursement; provided, however, that such records need not reflect any contribution made by a municipal advisor professional or non-MAP executive officer to a bond ballot campaign for a ballot initiative with respect to which such person is entitled to vote if the contributions made by such person, in total, are not in excess of $250 to any bond ballot campaign, per ballot initiative.

(J) Municipal advisors shall maintain copies of the Forms G-37 and G-37x submitted to the Board along with a record of submitting such forms to the Board.

(K) Terms used in this paragraph (iii) have the same meaning as in Rule G-37.

(L) No record is required by this paragraph (h)(iii) of:

(i) any municipal advisory business done or contribution to officials of municipal entities or political parties of states or political subdivisions; or

(ii) any payment to political parties of states or political subdivisions

if such municipal advisory business, contribution, or payment was made prior to August 17, 2016.

(M) No municipal advisor shall be subject to the requirements of this paragraph (h)(iii) during any period that such municipal advisor has qualified for and invoked the exemption set forth in clause (B) of paragraph (e)(ii) of Rule G-37; provided, however, that such municipal advisor shall remain obligated to comply with clause (H) of this paragraph (h)(iii) during such period of exemption. At such time as a municipal advisor that has been exempted by this clause (M) from the requirements of this paragraph (h)(iii) engages in any municipal advisory business, all requirements of this paragraph (h)(iii) covering the periods of time set forth herein (beginning with the then current calendar year and the two preceding calendar years) shall become applicable to such municipal advisor.

(iv) Records Concerning Duties of Non-Solicitor Municipal Advisors pursuant to Rule G-42.

(A) A copy of any document created by a municipal advisor that was material to its review of a recommendation by another party or that memorializes the basis for any determination as to suitability.

(v) Records Concerning Compliance with Rule G-44.

(A) The written supervisory procedures required by Rule G-44(a)(i);

(B) A record of all designations of persons responsible for supervision as required by Rule G-44(a)(ii);

(C) Records of the reviews of written compliance policies and written supervisory procedures as required by Rule G-44(a) and (b);

(D) A record of all designations of persons as chief compliance officer as required by Rule G-44(c);

(E) The annual certifications as to compliance processes required by Rule G-44(d); and

(F) Any certifications made as to substantially equivalent supervisory and compliance obligations and books and records requirements pursuant to Rule G-44(e).

(vi) Municipal Advisory Client Complaints. A record of all written complaints of municipal advisory clients or persons acting on behalf of municipal advisory clients that are received by the municipal advisor. This record must include the complainant’s name, address, and municipal advisory client number or code, if any; the date the complaint was received; the date of the activity that gave rise to the complaint; the name of each associated person of the municipal advisor identified in the complaint; a description of the nature of the complaint; and what action, if any, has been taken by such municipal advisor in connection with each such complaint.  In addition, this record must be kept in an electronic format using the complaint product and problem codes set forth in the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Rule G-8 Customer and Municipal Advisory Client Complaint Product and Problem Codes Guide.  

The term “written,” for the purposes of this paragraph, shall include electronic correspondence. The term “complaint” shall mean any written statement alleging a grievance involving the municipal advisory activities of the municipal advisor or any associated person of such municipal advisor.

(vii) Records Concerning Compliance with Continuing Education Requirements

(A) Copies of the municipal advisor’s needs analysis and written training plan as required by subparagraphs (i)(ii)(B)(1) and (i)(ii)(E)(1) of Rule G-3; and 

(B) Records documenting the content of the training programs and completion of the programs by each covered person as required by Rule G-3(i)(ii)(B)(3).

 
Supplementary Material

.01 Electronic Recordkeeping.  Paragraphs (a)(xii) and (h)(vi) of this rule require that customer complaint logs be kept in an electronic format.  For those purposes, “electronic format” is defined as any computer software program that is used for storing, organizing and/or manipulating data that can be provided promptly upon request to a regulatory authority.

.02 Other Reporting Requirements.  In addition to the recordkeeping requirements of Paragraphs (a)(xii) and (h)(vi) of Rule G-8, the regulated entity may be required to promptly report certain written customer or municipal advisory client complaints to other appropriate regulatory authorities.  Those written customer or municipal advisory client complaints that may be required to be promptly reported to other appropriate regulatory authorities include complaints in which the customer or municipal advisory client alleges theft or misappropriation of funds or securities or of forgery.

Rule G-8 Amendment History (since 2003)

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Notices
Publication date:

The Application of Rules G-8 and G-9 to Electronic Recordkeeping

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (the “MSRB”) has received requests for interpretive guidance regarding the maintenance in electronic form of records under rule G-8, on books and records, and rule G-9, on preservation of records. As the MSRB has previously noted, rules G-8 and G-9 provide significant flexibility to brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers (“dealers”) concerning the manner in which their records are to be maintained, recognizing that various recordkeeping systems could provide a complete and accurate record of a dealer’s municipal securities activities.[1] Part of the reason for providing this flexibility was that a variety of enforcement agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, NASD Regulation, Inc. and the banking regulatory agencies, all may inspect dealer records.

 

Rule G-8(b) does not specify that a dealer is required to maintain its books and records in a specific manner so long as the information required to be shown by the rule is clearly and accurately reflected and provides an adequate basis for the audit of such information. Further, rule G-9(e) allows records to be retained electronically provided that the dealer has adequate facilities for ready retrieval and inspection of any such record and for production of easily readable facsimile copies.

 

The MSRB previously has recognized that efficiencies would be obtained by the replacement of paper files with electronic data bases and filing systems and stated that it generally allows records to be retained in that form.[2] In noting that increased automation would likely lead to elimination of most physical records, the MSRB has stated that electronic trading tickets and automated customer account information satisfy the recordkeeping requirements of rule G-8 so long as such information is maintained in compliance with rule G-9(e). The MSRB believes that this position also applies with respect to the other recordkeeping requirements of rule G-8 so long as such information is maintained in compliance with rule G-9(e) and the appropriate enforcement agency is satisfied that such manner of record creation and retention provides an adequate basis for the audit of the information to be maintained. In particular, the MSRB believes that a dealer that meets the requirements of Rule 17a-4(f) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 with respect to maintenance and preservation of required books and records in the formats described therein would presumptively meet the requirements of rule G-9(e).

 

March 26, 2001

 

[1]               See Rule G-8 Interpretation – Interpretive Notice on Recordkeeping, July 29, 1977, reprinted in MSRB Rule Book (January 1, 2001) at 42.

[2]               See Rule G-8 Interpretive Letters – Use of electronic signatures, MSRB interpretation of February 27, 1989, reprinted in MSRB Rule Book (January 1, 2001) at 47.

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Notices
Publication date:

Supervisory Procedures for the Review of Correspondence with the Public

On March 16, 2000, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved amendments to rules G-8, on books and records, G-9, on preservation of records, and G-27, on supervision.[1] The amendments will become effective on September 19, 2000. The amendments will allow brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers ("dealers") to develop flexible supervisory procedures for the review of correspondence with the public. This notice is being issued to provide guidance to dealers on how to implement these rules.

Background

Technology has greatly expanded how communications between dealers and their customers take place. These new means of communication (e.g., e-mail, Internet) will continue to significantly affect the manner in which dealers and their associated persons conduct their business. While these changes allow timely and efficient communication with customers, prospective customers, and others, the significant changes in communications media and capacity raise questions regarding supervision, review, and retention of correspondence with the public.

In May 1996, the SEC issued an Interpretive Release on the use of Electronic Media by Broker-Dealers, Transfer Agents, and Investment Advisors for Delivery of Information.[2] That release expressed the views of the SEC with respect to the delivery of information through electronic media in satisfaction of requirements in the federal securities laws, but did not address the applicability of any self-regulatory organization ("SRO") rules. In its release the SEC did, however, strongly encourage the SROs to work with broker/dealer firms to adapt SRO supervisory review requirements governing communications with customers to accommodate the use of electronic communications.[3]

On December 31, 1997, the SEC approved proposed rule changes filed by the National Association of Securities Dealers ("NASD")[4] and the New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE")[5] to update rules governing supervision of communication with the public. NASD Notice to Members 98-11 announced approval of the proposed rule change, provided guidance to firms on how to implement these rules and stated that the amendments to NASD Rules 3010 and 3110 would be effective on February 15, 1998. Over the next year, further amendments were made to NASD Rules 3010 and 3110. NASD Regulation received final SEC approval of amendments to Rule 3010 on November 30, 1998.[6] The rule amendments were effective on March 15, 1999.[7]

As amended, NASD Rule 3010(d)(1) provides that procedures for review of correspondence with the public relating to a member's investment banking or securities business be designed to provide reasonable supervision for each registered representative, be described in an organization's written supervisory procedures, and be evidenced in an appropriate manner. NASD Rule 3010(d)(2) requires each member to develop written policies and procedures for review of correspondence with the public relating to its investment banking or securities business tailored to its structure and the nature and size of its business and customers. These procedures must also include the review of incoming, written correspondence directed to registered representatives and related to the member's investment banking or securities business to properly identify and handle customer complaints and to ensure that customer funds and securities are handled in accordance with firm procedures.

The Board has determined to adopt substantially similar rule changes. The Board believes that conforming its rule language to the language in the NASD rules will help ensure a coordinated regulatory approach to the supervision of correspondence.

Amended Rules

Rule G-27(d)(i), as revised, provides that procedures for review of correspondence with the public relating to a dealer's municipal securities activities be designed to provide reasonable supervision for each municipal securities representative, be described in the dealer's written supervisory procedures, and be evidenced in an appropriate manner.

Rule G-27(d)(ii) requires each dealer to develop written policies and procedures for review of correspondence with the public relating to its municipal securities activities, tailored to its structure and the nature and size of its business and customers. The rule requires that any dealer that does not conduct either an electronic or manual pre-use review will be required to:

  • develop appropriate supervisory procedures;

  • monitor and test to ensure these policies and procedures are being implemented and complied with;

  • provide education and training to all appropriate employees concerning the dealer's current policies and procedures governing correspondence, and update this training as policies and procedures are changed; and

  • maintain records documenting how and when employees are educated and trained.

The rule change states that these procedures must also include the review of incoming, written correspondence directed to municipal securities representatives and related to the dealer's municipal securities activities to properly identify and handle customer complaints and to ensure that customer funds and securities are handled in accordance with the dealer's procedures.

It is the understanding and view of the Board that dealers possess the legal capacity to insist that mail addressed to their offices be deemed to be related to their businesses, even if marked to the attention of a particular associated person, if they advise associated persons that personal correspondence should not be received at their firms. Dealers, other than non-NASD member bank dealers, are reminded that SEC Rule 17a-4(b)(4) requires that "originals of all communications received . . . by such member, broker or dealer, relating to its business as such . . ." must be preserved for not less than three years.

The retention requirements of the amendments to rule G-27 cross reference rules G-8(a)(xx) and G-9(b)(viii) and (xiv) and state that the names of persons who prepared, reviewed and approved correspondence must be readily ascertainable from the retained records. The records must be made available, upon request, to the appropriate enforcement agency (i.e., NASD or federal bank regulatory agency).

Guidelines For Supervision And Review

In adopting review procedures pursuant to rule G-27(d)(i), dealers must:

  • specify, in writing, the dealer's policies and procedures for reviewing different types of correspondence;

  • identify how supervisory reviews will be conducted and documented;

  • identify what types of correspondence will be pre- or post-reviewed;

  • identify the organizational position(s) responsible for conducting review of the different types of correspondence;

  • specify the minimum frequency of the reviews for each type of correspondence;

  • monitor the implementation of and compliance with the dealer's procedures for reviewing public correspondence; and

  • periodically re-evaluate the effectiveness of the dealer's procedures for reviewing public correspondence and consider any necessary revisions.

In conducting reviews, dealers may use reasonable sampling techniques. As an example of appropriate evidence of review, e-mail related to the dealer's municipal securities activities may be reviewed electronically and the evidence of review may be recorded electronically.

In developing supervisory procedures for the review of correspondence with the public pursuant to rule G-27(d)(ii), each dealer must consider its structure, the nature and size of its business, other pertinent characteristics, and the appropriateness of implementing uniform firm-wide procedures or tailored procedures (i.e., by specific function, office/location, individual, or group of persons).

In adopting review procedures pursuant to rule G-27(d)(ii), dealers must, at a minimum:

  • specify procedures for reviewing municipal securities representatives' recommendations to customers;

  • require supervisory review of some of each municipal securities representative's public correspondence, including recommendations to customers;

  • consider the complaint and overall disciplinary history, if any, of municipal securities representatives and other employees (with particular emphasis on complaints regarding written or oral communications with clients); and

  • consider the nature and extent of training provided municipal securities representatives and other employees, as well as their experience in using communications media (although a dealer's procedures may not eliminate or provide for minimal supervisory reviews based on an employee's training or level of experience in using communications media).

Although dealers may consider the number, size, and location of offices, as well as the volume of correspondence overall or in specific areas of the organization, dealers must nonetheless develop appropriate supervisory policies and procedures in light of their duty to supervise their associated persons. The factors listed above are not exclusive and dealers must consider all appropriate factors when developing their supervisory procedures and implementing their supervisory reviews.

Supervisory policy and procedures must also:

  • provide that all customer complaints, whether received via e-mail or in written form from the customer, are kept and maintained;

  • describe any dealer standards for the content of different types of correspondence; and

  • prohibit municipal securities representatives' and other employees' use of electronic correspondence to the public unless such communications are subject to supervisory and review procedures developed by the dealer. For example, the Board would expect dealers to prohibit correspondence with customers from employees' home computers or through third party systems unless the dealer is capable of monitoring such communications.

The method used for conducting reviews of incoming, written correspondence to identify customer complaints and funds may vary depending on the dealer's office structure. Where the office structure permits review of all correspondence, dealers should designate a municipal securities representative or other appropriate person to open and review correspondence prior to use or distribution to identify customer complaints and funds. The designated person must not be supervised or under the control of the municipal securities representative whose correspondence is opened and reviewed. Unregistered persons who have received sufficient training to enable them to identify complaints and funds would be permitted to review correspondence.

Where the office structure does not permit the review of correspondence prior to use or distribution, appropriate procedures that could be adopted include the following:

  • forwarding opened incoming written correspondence related to the dealer's municipal securities activities to a designated office, or supervising branch office, for review on a weekly basis;

  • maintenance of a separate log for all checks received and securities products sold, which is forwarded to the supervising branch office on a weekly basis;

  • communication to clients that they can contact the dealer directly for any matter, including the filing of a complaint, and providing them with an address and telephone number of a central office of the dealer for this purpose; and

  • branch examination verification that the procedures are being followed.

Regardless of the method used for initial review of incoming, written correspondence, as with other types of correspondence, rule G-27 would still require review by a designated principal of some of each municipal securities representative's correspondence with the public relating to the dealer's municipal securities activities. Given the complexity and cost of establishing appropriate systems for effectively reviewing electronic communications, some members may determine to conduct a pre-use or distribution review of all incoming and outgoing correspondence (written or electronic).

Dealers must continually assess the effectiveness of these supervisory systems. Education and training must be timely (prior to or concurrent with implementation of the policies and procedures) and must include all appropriate employees. Dealers may incorporate the required education and training on correspondence into their Continuing Education Firm Element Training Program (see rule G-3(h) on continuing education requirements). The requirement for training regarding correspondence may also apply to employees who are not included under the Continuing Education requirements.


ENDNOTES

[1]See Exchange Act Release No. 42538 (March 16, 2000), 65 FR 15675 (March 23, 1999). �

[2] See Securities Act Release No. 7288, Exchange Act Release No. 37182, Investment Company Act Release No. 21945, Investment Advisor Act Release No. 1562 (May 9, 1996), 61 FR 24644 (May 15, 1996) (File No. S7-13-96).

[3]  Id.

[4] See Exchange Act Release No. 39510 (December 31, 1997), 63 FR 1131 (January 8, 1998).

[5] See Exchange Act Release No. 39511 (December 31, 1997), 63 FR 1135 (January 8, 1998).

[6] See Exchange Act Release No. 40723 (November 30, 1998), 63 FR 67496 (December 7, 1998).

[7] See Notice to Members 99-03 (January 1999).

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Notices
Publication date:

Electronic Delivery and Receipt of Information by Brokers, Dealers and Municipal Securities Dealers

On May 9, 1996, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) issued an interpretative release expressing its views on the use of electronic media for delivery of information by, among others, brokers and dealers.[1] The SEC stated that brokers, dealers and others may satisfy their delivery obligations under federal securities laws by using electronic media as an alternative to paper-based media within the framework established in the SEC’s October 1995 interpretive release on the use of electronic media for delivery purposes.[2] The SEC also indicated that an electronic communication from a customer to a broker or dealer generally would satisfy the requirements for written consent or acknowledgment under the federal securities laws.

 

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (the “Board”) is publishing this notice to address the use by brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers (“dealers”) of electronic media to deliver and receive information under Board rules.[3] The Board will permit dealers to transmit documents electronically that they are required or permitted to furnish to customers under Board rules provided that they adhere to the standards set forth in the SEC Releases and summarized below.[4] Dealers also may receive consents and acknowledgments from customers electronically in satisfaction of required written consents and acknowledgments. Furthermore, the Board believes that the standards applied by the SEC to communications with customers should also apply to communications among dealers and between dealers and issuers. However, although it is the Board’s goal ultimately to permit dealers to make required submissions of materials to the Board electronically if possible, this notice does not affect existing requirements for the submission of materials to the Board, its designees and certain other entities to which information is required to be delivered under Board rules.[5]

Dealers are urged to review the SEC Releases in their entirety to ensure that they comply with all aspects of the SEC’s electronic delivery requirements. Although the examples provided in the SEC Releases are based on SEC rules, the examples nonetheless provide important guidance as to the intended application of the standards set out by the SEC with respect to electronic communications.

Electronic Communications from Dealers to Customers

General. According to the standards established by the SEC, dealers may use electronic media to satisfy their delivery obligations to customers under Board rules, provided that the electronic communication satisfies the following principles:[6]

1. Notice – The electronic communication should provide timely and adequate notice to customers that the information is available electronically.[7] Since certain forms of electronic delivery may not always provide a likelihood of notice that recipients have received information that they may wish to review, dealers should consider supplementing such forms of electronic communication with a separate communication, providing notice similar to that provided by delivery in paper through the postal mail, that information has been sent electronically that the recipients may wish to review.[8]

2. Access – Customers who are provided information through electronic delivery should have access to that information comparable to the access that would be provided if the information were delivered in paper form.[9] The use of a particular electronic medium should not be so burdensome that intended recipients cannot effectively access the information provided.[10] A recipient should have the opportunity to retain the information through the selected medium (e.g., by downloading or printing the information) or have ongoing access equivalent to personal retention.[11] Also, as a matter of policy, the SEC believes that a person who has a right to receive a document under the federal securities laws and chooses to receive it electronically should be provided with a paper version of the document upon specific request or if consent to receive documents electronically is revoked.[12]

3. Evidence to Show Delivery – Dealers must have reason to believe that electronically delivered information will result in the satisfaction of the delivery requirements under the federal securities laws. Dealers should consider the need to establish procedures to ensure that applicable delivery obligations are met, including recordkeeping procedures to evidence such satisfaction.[13] Such procedures should also be designed to ensure the integrity and security of information being delivered so as to ensure that it is the information that was intended to be delivered.[14] Dealers may be able to evidence satisfaction of delivery obligations, for example, by:

(1) obtaining the intended recipient’s informed consent [15] to delivery through a specified electronic medium and ensuring that the recipient has appropriate notice and access;

(2) obtaining evidence that the intended recipient actually received the information, such as by an electronic mail return-receipt [16] or by confirmation that the information was accessed, downloaded, or printed; or

(3) disseminating information through certain facsimile methods (e.g., faxing information to a customer who has requested the information and has provided the telephone number for the fax machine).

Personal Financial Information. The SEC has noted, and the Board agrees, that special precautions are appropriate when dealers are delivering information to customers that is specific to that particular customer’s personal financial information, including but not limited to information contained on confirmations and account statements.[17] In transmitting such personal financial information, dealers should consider the following factors:

1. Confidentiality and Security – Dealers sending personal financial information through electronic means or in paper form should take reasonable precautions to ensure the integrity, confidentiality, and security of that information. Dealers transmitting personal financial information electronically must tailor those precautions to the medium used in order to ensure that the information is reasonably secure from tampering or alteration.

2. Consent – Unless a dealer is responding to a request for information that is made through electronic media or the person making the request specifies delivery through a particular electronic medium, the dealer should obtain the intended recipient’s informed consent prior to delivering personal financial information electronically. The customer’s consent may be made either by a manual signature or by electronic means.

Electronic Communications from Customers to Dealers

Consistent with the position taken by the SEC, dealers may rely on consents and acknowledgments received from customers by electronic means for purposes of Board rules. In relying on such communications from customers, dealers must be cognizant of their responsibilities to prevent, and the potential liability associated with, unauthorized transactions. In this regard, the SEC states, and the Board agrees, that dealers should have reasonable assurance that the communication from a customer is authentic.

Electronic Transmission of Non-Required Communications

The 1996 SEC Release states that the above standards are intended to permit dealers to comply with their delivery obligations under federal securities laws when using electronic media. While compliance with the guidelines is not mandatory for the electronic delivery of non-required information that, in some cases, is being provided voluntarily to customers, the Board believes adherence to the guidelines should be considered, especially with respect to delivery of personal financial information.

Electronic Communications Among Dealers and Between Dealers and Issuers

The Board believes that the standards applied by the SEC to communications with customers should also apply to mandated communications among dealers and between dealers and issuers. Thus, a dealer that undertakes communications required under Board rules with other dealers and with issuers in a manner that conforms with the principles stated above relating to customer communications will have met its obligations with respect to such communications. In addition, a dealer may rely on consents and acknowledgments received from other dealers or issuers by electronic means for purposes of Board rules, provided that the dealer should have reasonable assurance that the communication from such other party is authentic. However, any Board rule that explicitly requires that a dealer enter into a written agreement with another party will continue to require that such agreement be in written form.[18] Financial information, as well as other privileged or confidential information, relating to another dealer or an issuer (or relating to another person or entity contained in a transmission between a dealer and another dealer or an issuer) should be transmitted using precautions similar to those used by a dealer in transmitting personal financial information to a customer.

Rules to Which this Notice Applies

Set forth below is a list of current Board rules to which dealers may apply the guidance provided in this notice. The Board believes that the list sets forth all of the rules that require or permit communications among dealers and between dealers and customers and issuers.[19] The summaries provided of the delivery obligations under the listed rules is intended for ease of reference only and are not intended to be complete statements of all the requirements under such rules.

  • Rule G-8, on books and records to be made by dealers, prohibits dealers from obtaining or submitting for payment a check, draft or other form of negotiable paper drawn on a customer’s checking, savings, share or similar account without the customer’s express written authorization.

  • Rule G-10, on delivery of investor brochure, requires dealers to deliver a copy of the investor brochure to a customer upon receipt of a complaint by the customer.

  • Rule G-11, on sales of new issue municipal securities during the underwriting period, requires certain communications between senior syndicate managers and other members of the syndicate.[20]

  • Rule G-12, on uniform practice, provides for confirmation of inter-dealer transactions and certain other inter-dealer communications.[21]

  • Rule G-15, on confirmation, clearance and settlement of transactions with customers, provides for confirmation of transactions with customers and the provision of additional information to customers upon request.[22]

  • Rule G-19, on suitability of recommendations and transactions and discretionary accounts, requires that dealers obtain certain information from their customers in connection with transactions and recommendations and also receive customer authorizations with respect to discretionary account transactions.

  • Rule G-22, on control relationships, requires certain disclosures from a dealer effecting a transaction for a customer in municipal securities with respect to which such dealer has a control relationship and customer authorization of such transaction with respect to discretionary accounts.

  • Rule G-23, on activities of financial advisors, requires that, under certain circumstances, dealers acting as financial advisors to issuers provide various disclosures to issuers and customers and receive certain consents and acknowledgments from issuers.[23]

  • Rule G-24, on use of ownership information obtained in fiduciary or agency capacity, requires a dealer seeking to use for its own purposes information obtained while acting in a fiduciary or agency capacity for an issuer or other dealer to receive consents to the use of such information.

  • Rule G-25, on improper use of assets, provides that put options and repurchase agreements will not be deemed to be guaranties against loss if their terms are provided in writing to customers with or on the transaction confirmation.

  • Rule G-26, on customer account transfers, provides for written notice from customers requesting account transfers between dealers and the use of Form G-26 to effect such transfer.[24]

  • Rule G-28, on transactions with employees and partners of other municipal securities professionals, requires that a dealer opening an account for a customer who is an employee or partner of another dealer must provide notice and copies of confirmations to such other dealer and permits such other dealers to provide instructions for handling of transactions with such customer.

  • Rule G-29, on availability of Board rules, provides that dealers must make available to customers for examination promptly upon request a copy of the Board’s rules required to be kept in their offices.[25]

  • Rule G-32, on disclosures in connection with new issues, requires dealers selling new issue municipal securities to customers to deliver official statements[26] and certain other information by settlement and requires selling dealers, managing underwriters and certain dealers acting as financial advisors to deliver such materials to dealers purchasing new issue municipal securities, upon request.[27]

  • Rule G-34, on CUSIP numbers and new issue requirements, requires underwriters to communicate information regarding CUSIP numbers and initial trade date to syndicate and selling group members.[28]

  • Rule G-38, on consultants, requires dealers to provide certain information to issuers regarding consulting arrangements.[29]

  • Rule G-39, on telemarketing, prohibits certain telemarketing calls without the prior consent of the person being called.[30]


ENDNOTES

[1] See Securities Act Release No. 7288, Exchange Act Release No. 37182 (May 9, 1996), 61 FR 24644 (May 15, 1996) (the “1996 SEC Release”).

[2] See Securities Act Release No. 7233, Exchange Act Release No. 36345 (October 6, 1995), 60 FR 53458 (October 13, 1995) (the “1995 SEC Release” and, together with the 1996 SEC Release, the “SEC Releases”).

[3] This notice has been filed with the SEC as File No. SR-MSRB-98-12.

[4] The Board also reminds dealers that the SEC indicated in the 1996 SEC Release that dealers may fulfill their obligation to deliver to customers, upon request, preliminary official statements and final official statements in connection with primary offerings of municipal securities subject to SEC Rule 15c2-12 by electronic means, subject to the guidelines set forth in the 1996 SEC Release. See 1996 SEC Release at note 47.

[5] For example, this notice does not apply to any requirements that dealers supply the Board with written information pursuant to Board rules A-12, A-14, A-15, G-36, G-37 and G-38. The Board has begun the planning process for electronic submission of information required under rule A-15 and of Form G-37/G-38 under rules G-37 and G-38. At such time as electronic submission becomes available, the Board will publish notice thereof and of the procedures to be used for such submission. Although submission of Forms G-36(OS) and G-36(ARD) under rule G-36 could also be made electronically by means similar to those which the Board may develop for Form G-37/G-38, such electronic submission is complicated by the requirement that Forms G-36(OS) and G-36(ARD) be accompanied by an official statement or advance refunding document, as appropriate. Given the current debate and lack of consensus among the various sectors of the municipal securities industry regarding electronic formatting of disclosure materials, and since the Board does not have the authority to dictate the format of issuer documents, the Board believes that any further action regarding electronic submissions under rule G-36 should await resolution of these issues. Finally, the Board does not at this time anticipate permitting electronic submission of information required under rules A-12 and A-14 since such information must be accompanied by payment of certain required fees.

Electronic submission of information under rule G-14 will continue to be governed by rule G-14 and associated Transaction Reporting Procedures. In addition, this notice does not alter the current submission standards applicable to the Board’s Continuing Disclosure Information (CDI) System of the Municipal Securities Information Library[®] (MSIL[®]) system. The Municipal Securities Information Library and MSIL are registered trademarks of the Board.

Furthermore, submission of information to the Board’s designees or certain other designated entities under Board rules must continue to be done in accordance with the procedures established by such designees or other entities. Board rules in which such requirements currently appear include rules G-7 (with respect to information required to be filed with the appropriate enforcement agencies), G-12 and G-15 (with respect to information to be submitted to registered clearing agencies and registered securities depositories), G-26 (with respect to customer account transfer instructions (other than Form G-26) required by registered clearing agencies), G-34 (with respect to information to be submitted to the Board’s designee for assignment of CUSIP numbers and to registered securities depositories) and G-37 (with respect to application to the appropriate enforcement agencies for exemptions from the ban on municipal securities business).

[6] Dealers that structure their deliveries in accordance with the principles set forth in this notice can be assured, except where otherwise noted, that they have satisfied their delivery obligations under Board rules. However, as the SEC stated in the 1995 SEC Release, the three enumerated principles are not the only factors relevant to determining whether the legal requirements pertaining to delivery of documents have been satisfied. Consistent with the SEC’s view, the Board believes that, if a dealer develops a method of electronic delivery that differs from the principles discussed herein, but provides assurance comparable to paper delivery that the required information will be delivered, that method may satisfy delivery obligations. See 1995 SEC Release, text following note 22. For example, a dealer can satisfy its obligation to send a confirmation to a customer under rule G-15 by electronic means in a manner that meets the principles set forth in this notice. In addition, dealers may continue to deliver confirmations electronically through the OASYS Global system established by Thomson Financial Services, Inc. on the conditions described in the Board’s Notice Concerning Use of the OASYS Global Trade Confirmation System to Satisfy Rule G-15(a), dated June 6, 1994, without specifically complying with the principles described in this notice. See MSRB Reports, Vol. 14, No. 3 (June 1994) at 37. See also 1996 SEC Release, note 38, and 1995 SEC Release, note 12. Also, rule G-29 provides that dealers must make available to customers for examination promptly upon request a copy of the Board’s rules required to be kept in their offices. Dealers may continue to comply with such requirement by giving customers access to the rules either in printed form or by viewing the rules on screen from the Board’s Internet web site (www.msrb.org) or from software products produced by other companies. See Interpretive Notice on Availability of Board Rules, dated May 20, 1998, in MSRB Reports, Vol. 18, No. 2 (August 1998) at 37.

[7] See 1996 SEC Release, text at note 20.

[8] See 1996 SEC Release, text at note 21, and 1995 SEC Release, text at note 23. The SEC notes, for example, that if information is provided by physically delivering material (such as a diskette or CD-ROM) or by electronic mail, such communication itself generally should be sufficient notice. However, if information is made available electronically through a passive delivery system, such as an Internet web site, separate notice would be necessary to satisfy the delivery requirements unless the dealer can otherwise evidence that delivery to the customer has been satisfied. 1996 SEC Release, note 21.

[9] The SEC states that, regardless of whether information is delivered in paper form or by electronic means, it should convey all material and required information. For example, if a paper document is required to present information in a certain order, then the information delivered electronically should be in substantially the same order. 1996 SEC Release, text at note 14.

[10] The SEC notes, for example, that if a customer must proceed through a confusing series of ever-changing menus to access a required document so that it is not reasonable to expect that access would generally occur, this procedure would likely be viewed as unduly burdensome. In that case, the SEC would deem delivery not to have occurred unless delivery otherwise could be shown. 1995 SEC Release, note 24.

[11] See 1996 SEC Release, note 22 and accompanying text, and 1995 SEC Release, notes 25-26 and accompanying text.

[12] See 1996 SEC Release, note 17 and accompanying text, and 1995 SEC Release, note 27 and accompanying text.

[13] See 1996 SEC Release, text following note 22, and 1995 SEC Release, note 22 and text at note 28. The Board is of the view that dealers that choose to deliver information to customers electronically should consider establishing systems and procedures for providing paper copies or using alternate electronic means in a timely manner should the primary electronic media fail for any reason.

[14] See 1996 SEC Release, text at note 25, and 1995 SEC Release, note 22. Dealers also should consider the need for systems and procedures to deter or detect misconduct by firm personnel in connection with the delivery of information, whether by electronic or paper means. 1996 SEC Release, text at note 16.

[15] In order for a consent to be an informed consent, the SEC has stated that the consent should specify the electronic medium or source through which the information will be delivered and the period during which the consent will be effective, describe the information that will be delivered using such means, and disclose the potential for the customer to incur costs in accessing the information. See 1996 SEC Release, note 23, and 1995 SEC Release, note 29.

[16] To the extent that material is distributed as an attachment to an electronic mail transmission, dealers must have a reasonable basis for believing that the attachment will in fact be transmitted along with the electronic mail transmission and that the attachment will be received by the recipient in an accessible format.

[17] In addition, the Board believes that other information that is privileged or confidential, regardless of whether such information is financial in nature, should be accorded the same precautions as is personal financial information.

[18] For example, the written agreements required under rules G-20(c), G-23(c) and G-38(b) must continue to be entered into in paper form.

[19] Unless otherwise provided in connection with the adoption by the Board of any new rules or amendments to existing rules that require or permit communications among dealers and between dealers and customers, issuers and others, the guidance provided in this notice would also apply to any such communications.

[20] Rule G-11 also requires that syndicate members furnish certain information to others, upon request. The Board believes that, solely for purposes of this requirement under rule G-11, such information may be provided to others by electronic means so long as the standards established in this notice with respect to electronic deliveries to customers are met.

[21] See, however, note 5 above with respect to information to be submitted to registered clearing agencies and registered securities depositories.

[22] See, however, note 5 above with respect to information to be submitted to registered clearing agencies and registered securities depositories. See also note 6 above regarding alternate electronic means previously reviewed by the Board.

[23] See, however, note 18 above and accompanying text regarding the written agreement to be entered into between a dealer acting as financial advisor and the issuer.

[24] See, however, note 5 above with respect to use of customer account transfer instructions (other than Form G-26).

[25] See note 6 above regarding alternate electronic means previously reviewed by the Board.

[26] The Board believes that dealers must be particularly cautious in delivering official statements by electronic means since they may present special challenges in ensuring that they are received by customers and other dealers without material omissions or distortions in formatting (for example, tables in which data is more than negligibly misaligned) that may cause such materials not to meet the standard for electronically transmitted information comparable to information delivered in paper form. See note 9 above and accompanying text.

[27] The Board believes that, to the extent that rule G-32(b)(i) [currently codified at rule G-32(c)(i)] obligates a managing or sole underwriter to provide, upon request, multiple copies of the official statement to a dealer with respect to new issue municipal securities sold by such dealer to customers, such obligation must continue to be met with paper copies of the official statement unless the purchasing dealer has consented to electronic delivery of the official statement in lieu of delivery of multiple paper copies. Compare 1995 SEC Release, example 11.

[28] See, however, note 5 above with respect to information to be submitted to the Board’s designee with respect to CUSIP number assignment and to registered securities depositories.

[29] See, however, note 18 above and accompanying text regarding the written agreement to be entered into between a dealer and its consultant and note 5 above with respect to submission of Form G-37/G-38 to the Board.

[30] Although the person receiving such telemarketing call may in many cases not be a customer, the Board believes that, solely for purposes of this provision of rule G-39, such consent may be accepted by the dealer by electronic means so long as the standards established in this notice with respect to electronic communications from customers to dealers are met.


Interpretation on the Application of Rules G-32 and G-36 to New Issue Offerings Through Auction Procedures

March 26, 2001

Traditionally, brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers (“dealers”) have underwritten new issue municipal securities through syndicates in which one dealer serves as the managing underwriter. In some cases, a single dealer may serve as the sole underwriter for a new issue. Typically, these underwritings are effected on an “all-or-none” basis, meaning that the underwriters bid on the entire new issue. In addition, new issues are occasionally sold to two or more underwriters that have not formed a syndicate but instead each underwriter has purchased a separate portion of the new issue (in effect, each underwriter serving as the sole underwriter for its respective portion of the new issue).

In the primary market in recent years, some issuers have issued their new offerings through an electronic “auction” process that permits the taking of bids from both dealers and investors directly. In some cases, these bids may be taken on other than an all-or-none basis, with bidders making separate bids on each maturity of a new issue.  The issuer may engage a dealer as an auction agent to conduct the auction process on its behalf. In addition, to effectuate the transfer of the securities from the issuer to the winning bidders and for certain other purposes connected with the auction process, the issuer may engage a dealer to serve in the role of settlement agent or in some other intermediary role.

Although the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (the “MSRB”) has not examined all forms that these auction agent, settlement agent or other intermediary roles (collectively referred to as “dealer-intermediaries”) may take, it believes that in most cases such dealer-intermediary is effecting a transaction between the issuer and each of the winning bidders. The MSRB also believes that in many cases such dealer-intermediary may be acting as an underwriter, as such term is defined in Rule 15c2-12(f)(8) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”).[1] A dealer-intermediary that is effecting transactions in connection with such an auction process has certain obligations under rule G-32. If it is also an underwriter with respect to an offering, it has certain additional obligations under rules G-32 and G-36.

Application of Rule G-32, on Disclosures in Connection with New Issues

Rule G-32(a) generally requires that any dealer (i.e., not just the underwriter) selling municipal securities to a customer during the issue’s underwriting period must deliver the official statement in final form, if any, to the customer by settlement of the transaction. Any dealer selling a new issue municipal security to another dealer is obligated under rule G-32(b) to send such official statement to the purchasing dealer within one business day of request. In addition, under rule G-32(c), the managing or sole underwriter for new issue municipal securities is obligated to send to any dealer purchasing such securities (regardless of whether the securities were purchased from such managing or sole underwriter or from another dealer), within one business day of request, one official statement plus one additional copy per $100,000 par value of the new issue municipal securities sold by such dealer to customers. Where multiple underwriters underwrite a new issue without forming an underwriting syndicate, each underwriter is considered a sole underwriter for purposes of rule G-32 and therefore each must undertake the official statement delivery obligation described in the preceding sentence.

If a dealer-intermediary is involved in an auction or similar process of primary offering of municipal securities in which all or a portion of the securities are sold directly to investors that have placed winning bids with the issuer, the dealer-intermediary is obligated under rule G-32(a) to deliver an official statement to such investors by settlement of their purchases. If all or a portion of the securities are sold to other dealers that have placed winning bids with the issuer, the dealer-intermediary is obligated under rule G-32(b) to send an official statement to such purchasing dealers within one business day of a request. Further, to the extent that the dealer-intermediary is an underwriter, such dealer-intermediary typically would have the obligations of a sole underwriter under rule G-32(c) to distribute the official statement to any other dealer that subsequently purchases the securities during the underwriting period and requests a copy. Any dealer that has placed a winning bid in a new issue auction would have the same distribution responsibility under rule G-32(c), to the extent that it is acting as an underwriter.

The MSRB views rule G-32 as permitting one or more dealer-intermediaries involved in an auction process to enter into an agreement with one or more other dealers that have purchased securities through a winning bid in which the parties agree that one such dealer (i.e., a dealer-intermediary or one of the winning bidders) will serve in the role of managing underwriter for purposes of rule G-32. In such a case, such single dealer (rather than all dealers individually) would have the responsibility for distribution of official statements to the marketplace typically undertaken by a managing or sole underwriter under rule G-32(c).[2] Such an agreement may be entered into by less than all dealers that have purchased securities through the auction process. All dealers that agree to delegate this duty to a single dealer may rely on such delegation to the same extent as if they had in fact formed an underwriting syndicate.

Application of Rule G-36, on Delivery of Official Statements, Advance Refunding Documents and Forms G-36(OS) and G-36(ARD) to the MSRB

Rule G-36 requires that the managing or sole underwriter for most primary offerings send the official statement and Form G-36(OS) to the MSRB within certain time frames set forth in the rule. In addition, if the new issue is an advance refunding and an advance refunding document has been prepared, the advance refunding document and Form G-36(ARD) also must be sent to the MSRB by the managing or sole underwriter. Where multiple underwriters underwrite an offering without forming an underwriting syndicate, the MSRB has stated that each underwriter would have the role of sole underwriter for purposes of rule G-36 and therefore each would have a separate obligation to send official statements, advance refunding documents and Forms G-36(OS) and G-36(ARD) to the MSRB.[3]

To the extent that the dealer-intermediary in an auction or similar process of primary offering of municipal securities is an underwriter for purposes of the Exchange Act, such dealer-intermediary would have obligations under rule G-36. If all or a portion of the securities are sold directly to investors that have placed winning bids with the issuer, the dealer-intermediary would be obligated to send the official statement and Form G-36(OS) (as well as any applicable advance refunding document and Form G-36(ARD)) to the MSRB with respect to the issue or portion thereof purchased by investors. If all or a portion of the securities are sold to other dealers that have placed winning bids with the issuer, the dealer-intermediary and each of the purchasing dealers (to the extent that they are underwriters for purposes of the Exchange Act) also typically would be separately obligated to send such documents to the MSRB with respect to the issue or portion thereof purchased by dealers.

To avoid duplicative filings under rule G-36, the MSRB believes that one or more dealer-intermediaries involved in an auction process may enter into an agreement with one or more other dealers that have purchased securities through a winning bid in which the parties agree that one such dealer (i.e., a dealer-intermediary or one of the winning bidders) will serve in the role of managing underwriter for purposes of rule G-36. In such a case, such single dealer (rather than all dealers individually) would have the responsibility for sending the official statement, advance refunding document and Forms G-36(OS) and G-36(ARD) to the MSRB.[4] Such an agreement may be entered into by less than all dealers that have purchased securities. All dealers that agree to delegate this duty to a single dealer may rely on such delegation to the same extent as if they had in fact formed an underwriting syndicate.


ENDNOTES

1 Questions regarding whether  an entity acting in an intermediary role is effecting a transaction or whether a dealer acting in such an intermediary role for a particular primary offering of municipal securities would constitute an underwriter should be addressed to staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

2 Each dealer that is party to this agreement would be required to inform any dealer seeking copies of the official statement from such dealer under rule G-32(c) of the identity of the dealer that has by agreement undertaken this obligation or, in the alternative, may fulfill the request for official statements. In either case, the dealer would be required to act promptly so as either to permit the dealer undertaking the distribution obligation to fulfill its duty in a timely manner or to provide the official statement itself in the time required by the rule. Such agreement would not affect the obligation of a dealer that sells new issue securities to another dealer to provide a copy of the official statement to such dealer upon request as required under rule G-32(b), nor would it affect the obligation to deliver official statements to customers as required under rule G-32(a).

3 See Rule G-36 Interpretive Letter – Multiple underwriters, MSRB interpretation of January 30, 1998, MSRB Rule Book (January 1, 2001) at 189.

4 The dealer designated to act as managing underwriter for purposes of rule G-36 would be billed the full amount of any applicable underwriting assessment due under rule A-13, on underwriting and transaction assessments. Such dealer would be permitted, in turn, to bill each other dealer that is party to the agreement for its share of the assessment.

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Notices
Publication date:

The Disclosure Obligations of Brokers, Dealers and Municipal Securities Dealers in Connection with New Issue Municipal Securities Under Rule G-32

In July 1998, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) approved two sets of amendments to rule G-32, on disclosures in connection with new issues. The first set of amendments permits brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers (“dealers”) that sell new issue variable rate demand obligations qualifying for the exemption provided under subparagraph (d)(1)(iii) of Securities Exchange Act Rule 15c2-12 to deliver the preliminary official statement, rather than the final official statement, to customers by settlement.[1] The second set of amendments strengthens the rule’s existing requirements regarding dissemination of official statements to dealers purchasing new issue municipal securities and incorporates a longstanding Board interpretation regarding disclosure to customers of initial offering prices in negotiated underwritings.[2] In view of these recent amendments and the continuing concerns of the Board and the enforcement agencies that some dealers may have inadequate procedures in place to ensure compliance with rule G-32,[3] the Board is publishing this notice to review the requirements of the rule and to emphasize the importance of full and timely compliance.

Purpose and Structure of Rule G-32

Rule G-32 is designed to ensure that a customer who purchases new issue municipal securities is provided with all available information relevant to his or her investment decision by settlement of the transaction. The rule obligates all dealers selling new issue municipal securities to provide to their customers purchasing the securities certain disclosure materials by settlement. To effectuate this primary obligation, the rule further obligates all dealers that sell new issue municipal securities to other dealers, as well as the managing or sole underwriter for such securities, to provide to such purchasing dealers these disclosure materials so as to permit the purchasing dealers to comply with their primary delivery obligations to their own customers. Finally, the rule provides that a dealer that prepares an official statement in final form on behalf of an issuer while serving in the capacity of financial advisor to such issuer must make the official statement available to the underwriters promptly after the issuer approves its distribution. Compliance with each prong of the rule is crucial to ensure that the primary purpose of the rule is fulfilled.

New Issue Municipal Securities and the Underwriting Period

Rule G-32 applies to the sale of all new issue municipal securities. These are defined in section (c)(i)[*] as any municipal securities (other than commercial paper[4]) that are sold by any dealer during the issue’s underwriting period. Once the underwriting period has ended for an issue of municipal securities, the requirements of rule G-32 no longer apply to transactions in such municipal securities.

The underwriting period for an issue of municipal securities begins with the first submission to the underwriters of an order from a potential customer to purchase the securities or the purchase by the underwriters of the securities from the issuer (i.e., the execution of the purchase contract in a negotiated sale or the award of the securities in a competitive sale), whichever occurs first. The underwriting period ends upon delivery by the issuer of the securities to the underwriters (i.e., the bond closing) if the underwriters no longer retain an unsold balance at such time. If, however, the issue is not sold out by the bond closing, the underwriting period continues until the underwriters no longer retain an unsold balance; provided that, in the case of an issue underwritten by a sole underwriter, if the bond closing has occurred and the underwriter retains an unsold balance 21 calendar days after the first submission of an order, the underwriting period nonetheless ends after such 21st day.[5]

delivery obligationS to customers

A dealer selling new issue municipal securities to a customer is required to deliver (not merely send) certain information to such customer prior to settlement of the transaction. The Board has previously noted that the required information will be presumed to have been delivered to the customer if it was sent at least three business days prior to settlement.[6]

Official Statements. With only two exceptions, a dealer violates section (a) of rule G-32 if it sells, either as principal or agent, a new issue municipal security to a customer but fails to deliver an official statement in final form[7] to such customer by no later than settlement of that transaction. Dealers should note that this obligation differs from the obligation imposed by SEC Rule 15c2-12(b)(4) in that rule G-32 mandates that any dealer selling new issue municipal securities (not just participating underwriters of the offering) must deliver (not just send) the official statement to the customer by settlement, regardless of whether the customer has requested a copy of the official statement.[8]

The first exception under rule G-32 arises where the issuer is not preparing an official statement in final form. In that case, the dealer must deliver to the customer by no later than settlement a written notice that an official statement in final form is not being prepared, together with a copy of a preliminary official statement, if one has been prepared.[9] This exception is not available in cases where the official statement in final form is in the process of being prepared but is not yet available at the time that a dealer wishes to settle a transaction with a customer. Thus, in such a case, a dealer would violate rule G-32(a) by settling a customer transaction without delivery of the official statement in final form, even if a preliminary official statement is delivered by settlement and the official statement in final form is delivered to the customer as soon as it becomes available.

The second exception applies solely to municipal securities issued a primary offering that qualifies for the exemption set forth in SEC Rule 15c2-12(d)(1)(iii) (Exempt VRDOs),[10] but only if an official statement in final form is being prepared.[11] This exception permits a dealer to deliver a preliminary official statement to a customer by settlement in substitution for the official statement in final form so long as (1) the dealer provides written notice to the customer by settlement that the official statement in final form will be sent within one business day following its receipt by the dealer and (2) the dealer sends the official statement in final form to the customer within one business day of its receipt.[12] The Board believes, however, that if the official statement in final form is available in sufficient time to permit delivery to the customer by settlement, it would be in the dealer’s best interest to make such delivery by settlement, as it would be required to do for any other new issue municipal securities. This would permit the dealer to satisfy its delivery obligation with a single delivery of the official statement in final form, rather than two separate deliveries of the preliminary and final official statements, thereby reducing the dealer’s compliance burden.[13]

Additional Disclosures for Negotiated Underwritings . Where the underwriters have purchased an issue of municipal securities from the issuer in a negotiated sale, any dealer (not just syndicate or selling group members) selling such securities to a customer during the underwriting period is required to deliver to such customer prior to settlement, in addition to the official statement, information concerning (A) the underwriting spread;[14] (B) the amount of any fee received by such dealer as agent for the issuer in the distribution of the securities, if applicable;[15] and (C) the initial offering price for each maturity in the issue, including the initial offering price of maturities that are not reoffered.[16] The obligation to make these further disclosures may be satisfied by inclusion by the issuer of such information in the official statement in final form and the delivery of such official statement to the customer by settlement. However, should the issuer elect not to include any such information in the official statement or if an official statement that includes this information is not delivered to the customer by settlement, a dealer selling such securities during the underwriting period must nevertheless provide such information in writing to the customer by settlement (for example, in a confirmation or other writing delivered to the customer by settlement). For example, if a dealer delivers a preliminary official statement to a customer at settlement for a new issue Exempt VRDO and any of the required disclosure information is left blank or is noted as preliminary and subject to change (with the expectation of the information being completed or finalized in the official statement in final form to be delivered after settlement), then disclosure of such information would be required in a separate writing delivered at or prior to settlement.

DELIVERY OBLIGATIONS TO PURCHASING DEALERS

Dealers selling new issue municipal securities to other dealers, and dealers serving as managing or sole underwriters for such new issues, are also required to deliver the official statement and the additional disclosures for negotiated underwritings, if applicable, to dealers purchasing such securities during the underwriting period.

Obligations of Selling Dealers. If a dealer sells a new issue municipal security to another dealer, the selling dealer is obligated under rule G-32(a)[†] to send to the purchasing dealer, upon request, (i) the official statement in final form (or if no official statement in final form is being prepared, a written notice to that effect, together with a copy of a preliminary official statement, if one has been prepared) and (ii) if the underwriters originally purchased the securities from the issuer in a negotiated sale, the additional disclosures described above required in connection with a negotiated underwriting. The official statement and the additional disclosures related to negotiated underwritings, if applicable, must be sent by the selling dealer to the purchasing dealer within one business day of the purchasing dealer’s request, provided that, if the official statement in final form is being prepared but has not yet been received from the issuer or its agent, then the official statement in final form and the additional disclosures must be sent no later than the business day following such receipt.[17] These items must be sent by first class mail or other equally prompt means, unless the purchasing dealer arranges some other method of delivery and pays or agrees to pay for such alternate delivery method. This obligation applies with respect to all requests to a selling dealer made by a dealer purchasing new issue municipal securities from such selling dealer during the underwriting period, even where the selling dealer did not participate as a syndicate or selling group member for the underwriting of the new issue municipal securities.

Obligations of Managing and Sole Underwriters . If an official statement in final form is prepared in connection with an issue of municipal securities, the dealer serving as managing underwriter or sole underwriter for such issue is obligated under rule G-32(b)(i)[‡] to send to any dealer purchasing such securities during the underwriting period, upon request, (i) one copy of the official statement in final form plus one additional copy per $100,000 par value purchased by such purchasing dealer for resale to customers and (ii) if the underwriters originally purchased the securities from the issuer in a negotiated sale, the required additional disclosures. Managing and sole underwriters also are required to provide purchasing dealers, upon request, with instructions on how to order copies of the official statement in final form from the printer. The official statement and the additional disclosures related to negotiated underwritings, if applicable, must be sent by the managing or sole underwriter to the purchasing dealer within one business day of the purchasing dealer’s request, provided that, if the official statement in final form is being prepared but has not yet been received from the issuer or its agent,[18] then the official statement in final form and the additional disclosures must be sent no later than the business day following such receipt. These items must be sent by first class mail or other equally prompt means, unless the purchasing dealer arranges some other method of delivery and pays or agrees to pay for such alternate delivery method. This obligation applies with respect to all requests to the managing or sole underwriter made by purchasing dealers during the underwriting period, even where the managing or sole underwriter did not sell the new issue municipal securities to the purchasing dealer.

Obligations of Dealers Acting as Financial Advisors . Rule G-32(b)(ii)[#] provides that, if a dealer that acts as financial advisor to an issuer prepares an official statement in final form on behalf of such issuer, such dealer must make that official statement available to the managing or sole underwriter promptly after the issuer approves distribution of the official statement in final form. This provision is designed to ensure that, once the official statement is completed and approved by the issuer for distribution, dealers acting as financial advisors will be obligated to commence the dissemination process promptly.[19]

Implications for Inter-Dealer Dissemination . The provisions of rule G-32 relating to dissemination among dealers of official statements and the additional disclosures related to negotiated underwritings is designed to ensure that a dealer selling a new issue municipal security to a customer has a reliable and timely source for obtaining such items for delivery to the customer by settlement. In the case of a syndicate member that purchases a new issue municipal security in an underwriting, the rule, in conjunction with The Bond Market Association’s Standard Agreement Among Underwriters, will effectively obligate the managing underwriter to send the official statement in final form (in the required quantity) and the additional disclosures to the syndicate member within one business day of its receipt from the issuer.[20] If for any reason such syndicate member needs to obtain a copy of the official statement more rapidly than by means of first class mail, it may arrange with the managing underwriter for delivery of the official statement by an alternate means so long as the requesting syndicate member covers the cost of such delivery.

For a non-syndicate member that purchases a new issue municipal security from the syndicate or from any other dealer, both the dealer that sold the security to the non-syndicate member and the managing or sole underwriter is obligated, if requested by such non-syndicate member, to send the official statement in final form and the additional disclosures within one business day of such request. If for any reason such non-syndicate member needs to obtain a copy of the official statement more rapidly than by means of first class mail, it may arrange with the dealer that is fulfilling the request for delivery of the official statement by an alternate means so long as the requesting non-syndicate member covers the cost of such delivery. Dealers purchasing new issue municipal securities from another dealer are advised that the obligation of the selling dealer or of the managing or sole underwriter to send an official statement to such purchasing dealer only takes effect upon the request of the purchasing dealer. Therefore, unless the purchasing dealer already has a copy of the official statement or has an alternate source for receiving it and the additional disclosures, such dealer will need to take the affirmative step of requesting such items from the selling dealer or the managing or sole underwriter.

A dealer that sells a new issue municipal security to a customer is not relieved of its obligation to deliver by settlement the official statement in final form and the additional disclosures related to negotiated underwriters because either the dealer from which it acquired the security or the managing or sole underwriter for the issue fails to fulfill its obligation to send these items to such dealer upon request. Such dealer may need to obtain the official statement in final form from other available sources. Such other sources of official statements include, but are not limited to, the nationally recognized municipal securities information repositories, other information vendors, or the Board’s Municipal Securities Information Library® (MSIL®) system.[21] Similarly, a managing or sole underwriter or a dealer selling a new issue municipal security cannot fulfill its obligation to send the official statement in final form and the additional disclosures to a purchasing dealer upon request by referring such dealer to such other sources of official statements.

RECORDKEEPING

Rule G-8(a)(xiii) requires that each dealer make and keep a record of all deliveries of official statements and of the additional disclosures related to negotiated underwritings made to purchasers of new issue municipal securities.[22] Although the rule does not obligate a dealer to maintain such records in any given manner, such records must provide an adequate basis for the audit of such information. To this end, NASD Regulation, Inc. has noted:

Some firms establish a file containing a copy of the customer’s new issue municipal purchase confirmation and/or a mailing label to demonstrate compliance with Rule G-8. However, NASD Regulation does not view this approach as adequately demonstrating compliance with MSRB Rule G-8. Instead, an adequate record of the delivery of new issue municipal securities disclosure information should, at a minimum, contain the following:

  • customer name;

  • security description;

  • settlement date(s);

  • type of disclosure sent (preliminary or final Official Statement);

  • date the required disclosure was sent;

  • and name of person(s) sending the disclosures.

At times, a firm assigns the new issue municipal securities disclosure function to a third party vendor. As a result, the member [dealer] does not maintain “a record of delivery” of the new issue disclosure. Nevertheless, from a regulatory perspective, the firm remains fully responsible for disclosure. When firms have assigned the new issue disclosure function to a third party, NASD Regulation expects that the compliance review process will include, at a minimum, periodic test to assure that the new issue disclosures are being made at or before settlement.[23]

Dealers should consult with the applicable enforcement agency regarding the adequacy of their recordkeeping under rule G-8(a)(xiii).


[1] See MSRB Reports, Vol. 18, No. 2 (Aug. 1998) at 15-17.

[2] See MSRB Reports, Vol. 18, No. 2 (Aug. 1998) at 19-21.

[3 ] See MSRB Reports, Vol. 17, No. 2 (June 1997) at 23-24; see also NASD Regulation, Inc., “Municipal Securities Update – Disclosure to Purchasers of New Issue Securities,” Regulatory & Compliance Alert, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Sept. 1998) at 19-20.

[4] The exception for commercial paper applies solely to true commercial paper issues (i.e., not to variable rate demand obligations with a nominal long maturity and having a so-called “commercial paper” mode).

[5] See rules G-32(c)(ii) [currently codified at rule G-32(d)(ii)] and G-11(a)(ix).

[6] See MSRB Reports, Vol. 7, No. 2 (March 1987) at 12.

[7] Rule G-32 defines official statement as a document prepared by the issuer or its representatives setting forth, among other matters, information concerning the issuer and the proposed issue of securities. This definition is, of necessity, broader than the definition set forth in SEC Rule 15c2-12(f)(3) for the term “final official statement” since rule G-32 applies to all issues of municipal securities (other than commercial paper issues), not just those issues subject to SEC Rule 15c2-12. However, the Board believes that, in the case of new issue municipal securities subject to SEC Rule 15c2-12, the official statement in final form for purposes of rule G-32 would be the same as the final official statement for purposes of SEC Rule 15c2-12.

[8 ] SEC Rule 15c2-12(b)(4) provides that an underwriter participating in an offering subject to the Rule must send a copy of the final official statement to a potential customer within one business day of a request until the earlier of (i) 90 days from the end of the underwriting period or (ii) the time when the official statement is available from a nationally recognized municipal securities information repository, but in no case less than 25 days following the end of the underwriting period.

[9] Since SEC Rule 15c2-12(3) provides that an underwriter participating in an offering subject to the Rule must contract with the issuer to receive final official statements, the Board expects that a final official statement will be prepared for all such offerings and therefore delivery of preliminary official statements for such issues would never satisfy the delivery obligation under rule G-32(a).

[10] A primary offering qualifies for this exemption if the municipal securities are in authorized denominations of $100,000 or more and, at the option of the holder thereof, may be tendered to the issuer or its designated agent for redemption or purchase at par value or more at least as frequently as every nine months until maturity, earlier redemption or purchase by the issuer or its designated agent.

[11] If an official statement in final form is not being prepared, then the first exception described above would apply.

[12] See MSRB Reports, Vol. 18, No. 2 (Aug. 1998) at 15-17. If no preliminary official statement is prepared for such issue, then the dealer must still provide written notice by settlement that an official statement in final form will be sent within one business day of receipt.

[13] In addition, ensuring that the official statement in final form, rather than merely the preliminary official statement, is in the possession of the customer by settlement may help to avoid potential liabilities that could result if there are any material differences between the preliminary official statement and the official statement in final form. The fact that rule G-32 permits a dealer to deliver the preliminary official statement, rather than the official statement in final form, to a customer by settlement in this specific situation does not in any way limit or reduce the dealer’s disclosure obligations under the federal securities laws, including in particular the dealer’s obligation under rule G-17 to disclose, at or before execution of a transaction, all material facts concerning the transaction which could affect the customer’s investment decision and not omit any material facts which would render other statements misleading.

[14] This provision obligates a dealer to disclose the gross spread (i.e., the difference between the initial offering price and the amount paid to the issuer), expressed either in dollars or points per bond. The underwriting spread may be shown either as a total amount or as a listing of the components of the gross spread. If components of the gross spread are listed, that portion of the proceeds which represents compensation to the underwriters must be clearly identified as such. For example, the Board believes that use of the terms “underwriters’ discount” or “net to underwriters” would be acceptable but that the term “bond discount” is confusing and, therefore, inappropriate. See MSRB Reports, Vol. 7, No. 2 (March 1987) at 13.

[15] If no fee is received by the dealer for acting as an agent for the issuer in the distribution of the securities, the dealer need not affirmatively state that no such fee was received but may instead omit any statement regarding such fee.

[16] The initial offering price may be expressed either in terms of dollar price or yield.

[17] Thus, if a purchasing dealer requests a copy of the official statement in final form from a selling dealer before the issuer has delivered the official statement to the underwriters, then the obligation of the selling dealer to send the official statement is deferred until the business day after the underwriters receive the official statement from the issuer.

[18] The Board is of the view that an underwriter that prepares an official statement on behalf of an issuer would be deemed to have received the official statement from the issuer immediately upon such issuer approving the distribution of the completed official statement in final form (i.e., when the issuer releases the completed official statement for distribution).

[19] The Board urges issuers that utilize the services of non-dealer financial advisors to hold such financial advisors to the same standards for prompt delivery of official statements to the underwriters.

[20] The Bond Market Association’s Standard Agreement Among Underwriters provides that syndicate members must place orders for the official statement by the business day following the date of execution of the purchase contract and states that any syndicate member that fails to place such an order will be assumed to have requested the quantity required under rule G-32(b)(i) [currently codified at rule G-32(c)(i)]. See The Bond Market Association, Agreement Among Underwriters – Instructions, Terms and Acceptance (Oct. 1, 1997) at ¶ 3. Thus, except in the rare instances where an official statement in final form is completed and available for distribution on the date of sale, syndicate members will have made or have been deemed to have made their requests for official statements by the time the managing underwriter receives the official statement from the issuer, thereby obligating the managing underwriter to send the official statement to syndicate members within one business day of receipt.

[21] Municipal Securities Information Library and MSIL are registered trademarks of the Board.

[22] Rule G-9(b)(x) provides that these records must be preserved for a period of not less than 3 years.

[23] NASD Regulation, Inc., “Municipal Securities Update – Disclosure to Purchasers of New Issue Securities,” Regulatory & Compliance Alert, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Sept. 1998) at 19-20. The views of the bank regulatory agencies regarding adequacy of any particular recordkeeping practice for the purpose of demonstrating compliance with rule G-8 may differ.

[*]  [Currently codified at rule G-32(d)(i).]

[]  [Currently codified at rule G-32(b).]

[] [Currently codified at rule G-32(c)(i).]

[#]  [Currently codified at rule G-32(c)(ii).]

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:

Use of Electronic Signatures

Use of electronic signatures.  This is in response to your letter and a number of subsequent telephone conversations regarding your dealer department's proposed use of a bond trading system. The system is an online, realtime system that integrates all front and back office functions. The system features screen input of customer account and trading information which would allow the dealer department to eliminate the paper documents currently in use. The signature of the representative introducing a customer account, required to be recorded with customer account information by rule G-8, and the signature of the principal signifying approval of each municipal securities transaction, required by rule G-27, would be performed electronically, i.e., by input in a restricted datafield. The signature of the principal approving the opening of the account, required by rule G-8, will continue to be performed manually on a printout of the customer information.[1]

Rule G-8(a)(vi) and (vii) require dealers to make and keep records for each agency and principal transaction. The records may be in the form of trading tickets or similar documents. In addition, rule G-8(a)(xi), on recordkeeping of customer account information, requires, among other things, the signature of the representative introducing the account and the principal indicating acceptance of the account to be included on the customer account record. Rule G-27(c)(ii)[*] requires, among other things, the prompt review and written approval of each transaction in municipal securities. In addition, the rule requires the regular and frequent examination of customer accounts in which municipal securities transactions are effected in order to detect and prevent irregularities and abuses. The approvals and review must be made by the designated municipal securities principal or the municipal securities sales principal. Rule G-9(e), on preservation of records, allows records to be retained electronically provided that the dealer has adequate facilities for ready retrieval and inspection of any such record and for production of easily readable facsimile copies.

The Board recognizes that efficiencies would be obtained by the replacement of paper files with electronic data bases and filing systems and generally allows records to be retained in that form.[2] Moreover, as dealers increasingly automate, there will be more interest in deleting most physical records. Electronic trading tickets and automated customer account information satisfy the recordkeeping requirements of rule G-8 as long as such information is maintained in compliance with rule G-9(e).

The Board and your enforcement agency are concerned, however, that it may be difficult to verify a representative's signature on opening the account or a principal's signature approving municipal securities transactions or periodically reviewing customer accounts if the signatures are noted only electronically. Your enforcement agency has advised us of its discussions with you. Apparently, it is satisfied that appropriate security and audit procedures can be developed to permit the use of electronic signatures of representatives and principals and ensure that such signatures are verifiable. Thus, the Board has determined that rules G-8 and G-27 permit the use of electronic signatures when security and audit procedures are agreed upon by the dealer and its appropriate enforcement agency. Whatever procedures are agreed upon must be memorialized in the dealer's written supervisory procedures required by rule G-27. MSRB Interpretation of February 27, 1989.

[1] In addition, you noted in a telephone conversation that the periodic review of customer accounts required by rule G-27(c)(ii)[*] also will be handled electronically using the principal's electronic signature to signify approval.

[2] See rule G-9(e).

[*] [Currently codified at Rule G-27(c)(i)(G)(2)]

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:

Contract Sheets

Contract sheets. This will respond to your letter of May 28, 1987, and confirm our telephone conversation of the same date concerning recordkeeping of “contract sheets.” You ask whether dealers are required by Board rules G-8 and G-9 to maintain records of “contract sheets” of municipal securities transactions.

Rule G-8(a)(ix) requires dealers to maintain records of all confirmations of purchases and sales of municipal securities, including inter-dealer transactions. Rule G-12(f), in certain instances, requires inter- dealer transactions to be compared through an automated comparison system operated by a clearing  agency registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, rather than by physical confirmations.[1] These automated comparison systems generate “contract  sheets” to each party of a trade, which confirm the existence and the terms of the transaction.

This will confirm my advice to you that such contract sheets are deemed to be confirmations of transactions for purposes of rule G-8(a)(ix). Thus, dealers are required to include contract sheets in their records of confirmations and, under rule G-9(b)(v), are required to maintain these records for no less than three years.[2] MSRB interpretation of June 25, 1987.

 


[1] Rule G-12(c) governs the content of and procedures for sending physical confirmations.

[2] You also ask about the interpretation of rules 17a-3 and 17a-4 under the Securities Exchange Act. The Board is not authorized to interpret these Securities and Exchange Commission rules. You may wish to contact the SEC for guidance on this matter.

 

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:

Time of Receipt and Execution of Orders

Time of receipt and execution of orders. This is in response to your March 3, 1987 letter regarding the application of rule G-8, on recordkeeping, to [name deleted]'s (the “Bank”) procedure on time stamping of municipal securities order tickets. You note that it is the Bank's policy to indicate on order tickets the date and time of receipt of the order and the date and time of execution of the order. You note, however, that when the order and execution occur simultaneously, it is your procedure to time stamp the order ticket once. You ask for Board approval of this policy.

Rule G-8(a)(vi) provides in pertinent part for a “memorandum of each agency order . . . showing the date and time of receipt of the order . . . and the date of execution and to the extent feasible, the time of execution . . .” Rule G-8(a)(vii) includes a similar requirement for principal transactions with customers. As noted in a Board interpretive notice on recordkeeping, the phrase “to the extent feasible” is intended to require municipal securities professionals to note the time of execution of each transaction except in extraordinary circumstances when it might be impossible to determine the exact time of execution. However, even in those unusual situations, the rule requires that at least the approximate time be noted.[1] This rule parallels SEC rule 17a-3(a)(6) and (7) on recordkeeping.

Thus, rule G-8(a)(vi) and (vii) required agency and principal orders to be time stamped upon receipt and upon execution. The requirement is designed to allow the dealer and the appropriate examining authority to determine whether the dealer has complied with rule G-18, on execution of transactions, and rule G-30, on pricing. Rule G-18 states that when a dealer is “executing a transaction in municipal securities for or on behalf of a customer as an agent, it shall make a reasonable effort to obtain a price for the customer that is fair and reasonable in relation to prevailing market conditions.”  Rule G-30(a) states that a dealer shall not effect a principal transaction with a customer except at a fair and reasonable price, taking into consideration all relevant factors including the fair market value of the securities at the time of the transaction. It is impossible to determine what the prevailing market conditions were at the time of the execution of the order if the date and time of execution are not recorded. In addition, it is important to time stamp the receipt and execution of an order so that a record can be maintained of when the order is executed.

Thus, even when the order and execution occur simultaneously, rule G-8 requires that two time stamps be included on order tickets. MSRB interpretation of April 20, 1987.


[1] See [Rule G-8 Interpretation –] Interpretive Notice on Recordkeeping (July 29, 1977) [reprinted in MSRB Rule Book].

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Notices
Publication date:

Records of Certificate Numbers of Securities Cleared by Clearing Agents

Rule G-8(a)(i) requires that dealers maintain records of original entry that include certificate numbers of all securities received or delivered. The Board has received inquiries whether a dealer must maintain in its records of original entry the certificate numbers of securities that are received or delivered by a clearing agent on behalf of the dealer or whether it is permissible for the clearing agent to maintain records of the certificate numbers for the dealer.

The Board has concluded that, for transactions in which physical securities are cleared by a clearing agent, records of the certificate numbers of the securities required by rule G-8(a)(i) may be maintained by the agent on behalf of the dealer if the dealer obtains an agreement in writing from the agent in which the following conditions are specified: (i) a complete and current record of certificate numbers of physical securities cleared by the agent will be maintained on behalf of the dealer by the agent; (ii) the agent will preserve such record, and will provide such record to the dealer promptly upon request, in a manner allowing the dealer to comply with Board rule G-9 on maintenance and preservation of records. The Board emphasizes that a dealer allowing a clearing agent to maintain records of certificate numbers on its behalf continues to be responsible for the accurate maintenance and preservation of such records in conformance with the Board’s recordkeeping rules.

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Notices
Publication date:

Notice Concerning the Application of Board Rules to Put Option Bonds

The Board has received a number of inquiries from municipal securities brokers and dealers regarding the application of the Board’s rules to transactions in put option bonds. Put option or tender option bonds on new issue securities are obligations which grant the bondholder the right to require the issuer (or a specified third party acting as agent for the issuer), after giving required notice, to purchase the bonds, usually at par (the "strike price"), at a certain time or times prior to maturity (the "expiration date(s)") or upon the occurrence of specified events or conditions. Put options on secondary market securities also are coming into prominence. These instruments are issued by financial institutions and permit the purchaser to sell, after giving required notice, a specified amount of securities from a specified issue to the financial institution on certain expiration dates at the strike price. Put options generally are backed by letters of credit. Secondary market put options often are sold as an attachment to the security, and subsequently are transferred with that security. Frequently, however, the put option may be sold separately from that security and re-attached to other securities from the same issue.

Of course, the Board’s rules apply to put option bonds just as they apply to all other municipal securities. The Board, however, has issued a number of interpretive letters on the specific application of its rules to these types of bonds. These interpretive positions are reviewed below.

Fair Practice Rules

1. Rule G-17

Board rule G-17, regarding fair dealing, imposes an obligation on persons selling put option bonds to customers to disclose adequately all material information concerning these securities and the put features at the time of trade. In an interpretive letter on this issue,[1] the Board responded to the question whether a dealer who had previously sold put option securities to a customer would be obligated to contact that customer around the time the put option comes into effect to remind the customer that the put option is available. The Board stated that no Board rule would impose such an obligation on the dealer.

In addition, the Board was asked whether a dealer who purchased from a customer securities with a put option feature at the time of the put option exercise date at a price significantly below the put exercise price would be in violation of any Board rules. The Board responded that such dealer may well be deemed to be in violation of Board rules G-17 on fair dealing and G-30 on prices and commissions.

2. Rule G-25(b)

Board rule G-25(b) prohibits brokers, dealers, and municipal securities dealers from guaranteeing or offering to guarantee a customer against loss in municipal securities transactions. Under the rule, put options are not deemed to be guarantees against loss if their terms are provided in writing to the customer with or on the confirmation of the transaction and recorded in accordance with rule G-8(a)(v).[2] Thus, when a municipal securities dealer is the issuer of a secondary market put option on a municipal security, the terms of the put option must be included with or on customer confirmations of transactions in the underlying security. Dealers that sell bonds subject to put options issued by an entity other than the dealer would not be subject to this disclosure requirement.

Confirmation Disclosure Rules

1. Description of Security

Rules G-12(c)(v)(E) and G-15(a)(i)(E)[*] require inter-dealer and customer confirmations to set forth

a description of the securities, including… if the securities are… subject to redemption prior to maturity, an indication to such effect.

Confirmations of transactions in put option securities, therefore, would have to indicate the existence of the put option (e.g., by including the designation "puttable" on the confirmation), much as confirmations concerning callable securities must indicate the existence of the call feature. The confirmation need not set forth the specific details of the put option feature.[3]

Rules G-12(c)(v)(E) and G-15(a)(i)(E)[†] also require confirmations to contain

a description of the securities including at a minimum… if necessary for a materially complete description of the securities, the name of any company or other person in addition to the issuer obligated, directly or indirectly, with respect to debt service…

The Board has stated that a bank issuing a letter of credit which secures a put option feature on an issue is "obligated… with respect to debt service" on such issue. Thus, the identity of the bank issuing the letter of credit securing the put option also must be indicated on the confirmation.[4]

Finally, rules G-12(c)(v)(E) and G-15(a)(i)(E)[‡] requires that dealer and customer confirmations contain a description of the securities including, among other things, the interest rate on the bonds. The Board has interpreted this provision as it pertains to certain tender option bonds with adjustable tender fees to require that the net interest rate (i.e., the current effective interest rate taking into account the tender fee) be disclosed in the interest rate field and that dealers include elsewhere in the description field of the confirmation the stated interest rate with the phrase "less fee for put."[5]

2. Yield Disclosure

Board rule G-12(c)(v)(I) requires that inter-dealer confirmations include the

yield at which transaction was effected and resulting dollar price, except in the case of securities which are traded on the basis of dollar price or securities sold at par, in which event only dollar price need be shown (in cases in which securities are priced to call or to par option, this must be stated and the call or option date and price used in the calculation must be shown, and where a transaction is effected on a yield basis, the dollar price shall be calculated to the lowest of price to call, price to par option, or price to maturity);

Rule G-15(a)(i)(I)[#] requires that customer confirmations include information on yield and dollar price as follows:

(1) for transactions effected on a yield basis, the yield at which transaction was effected and the resulting dollar price shall be shown. Such dollar price shall be calculated to the lowest of price to call, price to par option, or price to maturity.

(2) for transactions effected on the basis of dollar price, the dollar price at which transaction was effected, and the lowest of the resulting yield to call, yield to par option, or yield to maturity shall be shown.

(3) for transactions at par, the dollar price shall be shown.

In cases in which the resulting dollar price or yield shown on the confirmation is calculated to call or par option, this must be stated, and the call or option date and price used in the calculation must be shown.

Neither of these rules requires the presentation of a yield or a dollar price computed to the put option date as a part of the standard confirmation process. In many circumstances, however, the parties to a particular transaction may agree that the transaction is effected on the basis of a yield to the put option date, and that the dollar price will be computed in this fashion. If that is the case, the yield to the put date must be included on confirmations as the yield at which the transaction was effected and the resulting dollar price computed to the put date, together with a statement that it is a "yield to the [date] put option" and an indication of the date the option first becomes available to the holder.[6] The requirement for transactions effected on a yield basis of pricing to the lowest of price to call, price to par option or price to maturity, applies only when the parties have not specified the yield on which the transaction is based.

In addition, in regard to transactions in tender option bonds with adjustable tender fees, even if the transaction is not effected on the basis of a yield to the tender date, dealers must include the yield to the tender date since an accurate yield to maturity cannot be calculated for these securities because of the yearly adjustment in tender fees.[7]

Delivery Requirements

In a recent interpretive letter, the Board responded to an inquiry whether, in three situations, the delivery of securities subject to put options could be rejected.[8] The Board responded that, in the first situation in which securities subject to a "one time only" put option were purchased for settlement prior to the option expiration date but delivered after the option expiration date, such delivery could be rejected since the securities delivered were no longer "puttable" securities. In the second situation in which securities subject to a "one time only" put option were purchased for settlement prior to the option expiration date and delivered prior to that date, but too late to permit the recipient to satisfy the conditions under which it could exercise the option (e.g., the trustee is located too far away for the recipient to be able to present the physical securities by the expiration date), the Board stated that there might not be a basis for rejecting delivery, since the bonds delivered were "puttable" bonds, depending on the facts and circumstances of the delivery. A purchasing dealer who believed that it had incurred some loss as a result of the delivery would have to seek redress in an arbitration proceeding.

Finally, in the third situation, securities which were the subject of a put option exercisable on a stated periodic basis (e.g., annually) were purchased for settlement prior to the annual exercise date so that the recipient was unable to exercise the option at the time it anticipated being able to do so. The Board stated that this delivery could not be rejected since "puttable" bonds were delivered. A purchasing dealer who believed that it had incurred some loss as a result of the delivery would have to seek redress in an arbitration proceeding.


 

[1] See [Rule G-17 Interpretive Letter - Put option bonds: safekeeping, pricing,] MSRB interpretation of February 18, 1983.

[2] Rule G-8(a)(v) requires dealers to record, among other things, oral or written put options with respect to municipal securities in which such municipal securities broker or dealer has any direct or indirect interest, showing the description and aggregate par value of the securities and the terms and conditions of the option.

[3] See [Rule G-12 Interpretive Letter - Confirmation disclosure: put option bonds,] MSRB interpretation of April 24, 1981.

[4] See [Rule G-15 Interpretive Letter - Securities description: securities backed by letters of credit,] MSRB interpretation of December 2, 1982.

[5] See [Rule G-12 Interpretive Letter - Confirmation disclosure: tender option bonds with adjustable tender fees,] MSRB interpretation of March 5, 1985.

[6] See [Rule G-12 Interpretive Letter - Confirmation disclosure: put option bonds,] MSRB interpretation of April 24, 1981.

[7] See fn. 5.

[8] See [Rule G-12 Interpretive Letter - Delivery requirements: put option bonds,] MSRB interpretation of February 27, 1985.

[*] [Currently codified at rule G-15(a)(i)(C)(2)(a). See also current rule G-15(a)(i)(C)(2)(b).]

[†] [Currently codified at rule G-15(a)(i)(C)(1)(b).]

[‡] [Currently codified at rule G-15(a)(i)(B)(4). See also current rule G-15(a)(i)(B)(4)(c).]

[#] [Currently codified at rule G-15(a)(i)(A)(5). See also current rule G-15(a)(i)(A)(5)(c)(vi)(D).]

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:

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.

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:

Customer Account Information

Customer account information. I am writing in response to your letter of May 25, 1982 concerning the maintenance of customer account information records in connection with certain orders placed with you by a correspondent bank. In your letter you indicate that a correspondent bank periodically purchases securities from your dealer department for the accounts of specified customers. The confirmations of these transactions are sent to the correspondent bank, with a statement on each confirmation designating, by customer name, the account for which the transaction was effected. No confirmations or copies of confirmations are sent to the customers identified by the correspondent bank. You inquire whether customer account information records designating these customers as the "beneficial owners" of these accounts need be maintained by your dealer department.

As you know, rule G-8(a)(xi) requires a municipal securities dealer to record certain information about each customer for which it maintains an account. Subparagraph (G) of such paragraph requires that this record identify the

name and address of beneficial owner or owners of such account if other than the customer and transactions are to be confirmed to such owner or owners...(emphasis added)

If the transactions are not to be confirmed to the customers identified as the owners of the accounts for which the transactions are effected, then such information need not be recorded.

In the situation you cite, therefore, the names of the customers need not be recorded on the customer account information record. MSRB interpretation of June 1, 1982.

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:

Records of Original Entry; Accessibility of Records

Records of original entry; accessibility of records. As I indicated to you in my previous letter of February 1, 1982, your inquiry of January 21, 1982 was referred to the committee of the Board charged with responsibility for interpreting the requirements of Board rules G-8 and G-9 on books and records. That committee has authorized my sending you this response.

In your letter you indicate that during the course of an examination of your bank's municipal securities dealer department by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency certain criticisms were made by the examiners regarding the recordkeeping system used by your bank. In particular, the examiners noted that the "record of original entry" maintained by the bank did not contain seven specified items of information,[1] and expressed the view that customer account records more than one year old were not "maintained and preserved in an easily accessible place" within the meaning of rule G-9. You disagree with the examiner's interpretation of "easily accessible." Further, while conceding that the specified items of information are not contained on the record, you indicate that this information is readily available upon specific inquiry to the bank's system data base, and express the view that this should be sufficient for purposes of compliance with Board rule G-8. You request the Board's views on these subjects.

As a general matter we would hesitate to disagree with the opinion expressed by an on-site examiner concerning the auditability of records maintained by a municipal securities dealer. The examiner is, of course, in direct contact with the matter in question, and has access to the full details of the situation, rather than an abstraction or summary of the particulars. Accordingly, we are unable to express a view that the examiner's criticisms are incorrect in the specific circumstances you describe.

With respect to the particular questions which you raise, we note that rule G-8 does require that all of the specified information appear on the record or system of records designated as the dealer's "record of original entry." It is not sufficient that the dealer has the capability of researching specific items, or constructing a record upon request from information maintained in other formats. The record of original entry is intended to provide a journal of all of the basic details of a dealer's activity on a given day. A record that can only be put together on request, or that is missing basic details of information, is not sufficient for this purpose.

We note also that, in reviewing the attachments to your letter, it appears that the absence of several of the specified items of information would be easy to rectify--institution of controls to prevent duplication of customer and security abbreviations would appear to resolve the problems with these details, and a system of grouping transaction input could be devised so that trades for different trade dates are not shown on the same blotter. Similarly, bond or note numbers could be designated on transaction tickets maintained as an augmentation of the computerized records; the attachments indicate that you already maintain such tickets as part of an existing unit system.

With respect to the question of accessibility, we note that this is generally construed by the examining authorities to mean accessibility within 24 or 48 hours. If a system could be devised whereby requests from the dealer department for aged customer account records could be given priority and processed on an expedited basis, this might rectify the problem you describe. MSRB interpretation of April 27, 1982.

 

[1] Dollar price or yield, trade date, name of contra party (due to use of abbreviations), security identification (due to use of abbreviations), designation of account for which transaction was effected, bond or note numbers, and designation if securities were registered.

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:

Syndicate Records: Participations

Syndicate records: participations. This will acknowledge receipt of your letter of November 24, 1981 concerning certain of the requirements of Board rule G-8(a)(viii) regarding syndicate records to be maintained by managers of underwritings of new issues of municipal securities.

You note that this provision requires, in pertinent part, that,

[w]ith respect to each syndicate..., records shall be maintained ... showing ... the name and percentage of participation of each member of the syndicate or account...

You inquire whether this provision necessitates the designation of an actual percentage or decimal participation, or, alternatively,

whether a listing of the ... dollar participation [of each member] ... along with [the] aggregate par value of the syndicate meets the requirement ... of the Rule.

The rule should not be construed to require in all cases an indication of a numerical percentage for each member's participation, if other information from which a numerical percentage can easily be determined is set forth. The method you propose, showing the par value amount of the member's participation, is certainly acceptable for purposes of compliance with this provision of the rule. MSRB interpretation of December 8, 1981.

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:

Records of Original Entry

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:

Maintenance of Securities Record

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:

Records of Original Entry

Records of original entry. Your letter dated October 13, 1978, has been referred to me for response. In your letter you inquire whether a certain method of keeping "records of original entry" is satisfactory for purposes of the requirement to maintain "current" books and records. In particular, you suggest that such records could be maintained by means of a "unit" or "ticket" system during the period from trade date to settlement date, and then recorded on a blotter as of the settlement date.

As indicated to you, such a method of preserving these records is acceptable, provided that all information required to be shown is clearly and accurately reflected in both forms of the record, and both forms provide adequate audit controls. MSRB interpretation of October 26, 1978.

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Notices
Publication date:

Approval of Fair Practice Rules

Rule D-11 is designed to eliminate the need to make specific reference to personnel of securities firms and bank dealers in each Board rule that applies both to the organization and its personnel.

The term “associated person” in rule D-11 has the same meaning as set forth in section 3(a)(18) and 3(a)(32) of the Act, except that clerical and ministerial personnel are excluded from the definition for purposes of the Board’s rules, unless otherwise specified. Although the statutory definitions of associated persons include individuals and organizations in a control relationship with the securities professional, the context of the fair practice rules indicates that such rules will ordinarily not apply to persons who are associated with securities firms and bank deal- ers solely by reason of a control relationship.

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:

Securities Control

Securities control. Your letter dated February 24, 1978, has been referred to me for response. In addition, I understand that you have had several subsequent telephone conversations about your question. In these conversations, you describe the procedures for securities control followed by your bank's dealer department.

Briefly, as we understand your procedures, the dealer department records all certificate numbers of municipal securities received or delivered by the department. This information is recorded in a manner which relates the physical receipt and delivery of specific certificates to specific transactions. Once in safekeeping, the certificates are kept in a vault, and filed by issue, rather than filed separately by account, chronologically, or by transaction. In your letter, you inquired whether this system of filing in the vault raises problems of compliance with Board rule G-8.

Since your bank records in records of original entry the certificate numbers upon receipt and delivery of municipal securities by your dealer department, it appears that your system satisfies the requirement under rule G-8(a)(i) that such information be recorded on the "record of original entry." The safekeeping procedures used by the bank are specifically excluded from the scope of the rule under the provisions of paragraph G-8(a)(iii), which requires

[r]ecords showing...all positions (including, in the case of a municipal securities broker or municipal securities dealer other than a bank dealer, securities in safekeeping)...

Therefore, based on the information you have provided, we believe that your system is in compliance with the applicable provisions of rule G-8. MSRB interpretation of April 10, 1978.

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Letters
Publication date:

Securities Record

Securities record. In your letter, you question the application of Board rule G-8(a)(iii) and, in particular, the requirement that "such [securities] records shall consist of a single record system," to a situation in which a securities firm maintains such records organized by ownership of the securities. It is my understanding that the firm in question maintains records showing securities in the firm's trading account, and offsetting positions long and short, and separate records showing securities owned by customers and the offsetting location for those securities.

Rule G-8(a)(iii) requires, in part

[r]ecords showing separately for each municipal security all positions ... carried by such municipal securities broker or municipal securities dealer for its account or for the account of a customer...

Therefore, securities records should be maintained by security, although this can be accomplished by separate sheets showing positions in that security held for trading or investment purposes and positions owned by customers. A record organized by customer, showing several securities and offsetting positions held by that customer, is not acceptable for purposes of rule G-8(a)(iii).

With respect to your question regarding the multiple maturity provision of rule G-8(a)(iii), the relevant position of the rule states

multiple maturities of the same issue of municipal securities, as well as multiple coupons of the same maturity, may be shown on the same record, provided that adequate secondary records exist to identify separately such maturities and coupons.

Therefore, the securities to be shown on a single securities record must be identical as to issue date or maturity date. Securities which are identical as to issuer may be shown on a single securities record only if the securities have either the same issue date or the same maturity date, and if adequate secondary records exist to identify separately the securities grouped on the record. MSRB interpretation of April 8, 1978.

Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Notices
Publication date:

INTERPRETIVE NOTICE ON RECORDKEEPING

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (the "Board") has received a number of inquiries concerning Board rules G-8 and G-9. These rules require municipal securities brokers and municipal securities dealers to make and keep current certain specified records concerning their municipal securities business and to preserve such records for specified periods of time. This interpretive notice addresses several of the more frequent inquiries received by the Board regarding these rules.

General Purposes of Recordkeeping Rules

The Board’s recordkeeping rules are designed to require organizations engaged in the municipal securities business to maintain appropriate records concerning their activities in such business. In writing the rules, the Board adopted the approach of specifying in some detail the information to be reflected in the various records. The Board believed that this approach would provide helpful guidance to municipal securities professionals as well as the regulatory agencies charged with the responsibility of examining the records of such firms. At the same time, the Board attempted to provide a degree of flexibility to firms concerning the manner in which their records are to be maintained, recognizing that various recordkeeping systems could provide a complete and accurate record of a firm’s municipal securities activities. The interpretations set forth in this notice are intended to be consistent with the foregoing purposes.

This notice is not intended to address all of the questions which have arisen, or may arise; the Board will continue its policy of responding to written requests for individual interpretations and may issue further interpretive notices on recordkeeping should additional questions of general interest arise.

The following topics are covered in this interpretive notice:General Purposes of Recordkeeping Rules

Election to Follow Board or Commission Recordkeeping Rules

Maintenance of Records on a Trade Date or Settlement Date Basis

Current Posting of Records

Unit System Method of Recordkeeping

Rule G-8(a)(ii)—Account Records

Rule G-8(a)(iii)—Securities Records

Rules G-8(a)(vi) and (vii)—Records for Agency and Principal Transactions

Rule G-8(a)(xi)—Customer Account Information

Rule G-8(c)—Non-Clearing Municipal Securities Brokers and Municipal Securities Dealers

Rule G-9(b)(viii)(C)—Preservation of Written Communications

Election to Follow Board or Commission Recordkeeping Rules

Rules G-8(f) and G-9(g) provide that municipal securities brokers and municipal securities dealers other than bank dealers, who are in compliance with the recordkeeping rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "Commission"), will be deemed to be in compliance with Board rules G-8 and G-9, provided that the following additional records, not specified in the Commission’s rules, are maintained by such firms: records of uncompleted transactions involving customers (subparagraph (a)(iv)(D)); records relating to syndicate transactions (paragraph (a)(viii)); new account information (paragraph (a)(xi)); and information concerning customer complaints (paragraph (a)(xii)). Conversely, Commission rules 17a-3 and 17a-4 provide that securities firms engaged in the municipal securities business will satisfy all regulatory requirements concerning recordkeeping with respect to their municipal securities business if they are in compliance with the Board’s rules.

Securities firms must determine to comply with either the Board or Commission rules, but are not required to file with either the Board or the commission a formal written notice of election. Satisfactory compliance with either set of rules will be subject to determination in the course of periodic compliance examinations conducted by the regulatory organizations charged with enforcement of Board and Commission rules.

Maintenance of Records on a Trade Date or Settlement Date Basis

Under rule G-8, records concerning purchases and sales of municipal securities may be maintained on either a trade date or settlement date basis, provided that all records relating to purchases and sales are maintained on a consistent basis. For example, if a municipal securities broker or municipal securities dealer maintains its records of original entry concerning purchases and sales (rule G-8(a)(i)) on a settlement date basis, the municipal securities broker or municipal securities dealer must also maintain its account records (rule G-8(a)(ii)) and securities records (rule G-8(a)(iii)) on the same basis.

The above records may not be maintained on a clearance date basis, that is, the date the securities are actually delivered or received. Records maintained on a clearance date basis would not accurately reflect obligations of a municipal securities broker or municipal securities dealer to deliver or accept delivery of securities. Of course, the date of clearance should be noted in the records of original entry, account records and securities records, regardless of whether these records are kept on a trade date or settlement date basis.

Current Posting of Records

Rule G-8 provides that every municipal securities broker or municipal securities dealer must make and keep current the records specified in the rule. The Board has received inquiries as to the time within which records must be posted to satisfy the currency requirement.

Blotters or other records of original entry showing purchases and sales of municipal securities should be prepared no later than the end of the business day following the trade date. Transactions involving the purchase and sale of securities should be posted to the account records no later than settlement date and to the securities records no later than the end of the business day following the settlement date. Records relating to securities movements and cash receipts and disbursements should reflect such events on the date they occur and should be posted to the appropriate records no later than the end of the following business day.

Commission rule 17a-11 requires municipal securities dealers, other than bank dealers, to give immediate notice to the Commission and their designated examining authorities of any failure to make and keep current the required records, and to take corrective action within forty-eight hours after the transmittal of such notice.

Unit System Method of Recordkeeping

Under rule G-8, records may be maintained in a variety of ways, including a unit system of recordkeeping. In such a system, records are kept in the form of a group of documents or related groups of documents. For example, customer account records may consist of copies of confirmations and other related source documents, if necessary, arranged by customer.

A unit system of recordkeeping is an acceptable system for purposes of rule G-8 if the information required to be shown is clearly and accurately reflected and there is an adequate basis for audit. This would require in most instances that each record in a unit system be arranged in appropriate sequence, whether chronological or numerical, and fully integrated into the overall recordkeeping system for purposes of posting to general ledger accounts.

Rules G-8(a)(ii)—Account Records

Rule G-8(a)(ii) requires every municipal securities broker and municipal securities dealer to maintain account records for each customer account and the account of the municipal securities broker and municipal securities dealer, showing all purchases and sales, all receipts and deliveries of securities, all receipts and disbursements of cash, and all other debits and credits to such account.

The account records may be kept in several different formats. Ledger entries organized separately for each customer and for the municipal securities broker or municipal securities dealer, showing the requisite information, would clearly satisfy the requirements of rule G-8(a)(ii).

The requirements of rule G-8(a)(ii) can also be satisfied by a unit system of recordkeeping. See discussion above. Under such a system, a municipal securities professional might maintain files, organized by customer, containing copies of confirmations and other pertinent documents, if necessary, which reflect all the information required by rule G-8(a)(ii).

The question has also been raised whether the account records requirement of rule G-8(a)(ii) can be satisfied by an electronic data processing system which can produce account records by tracing through separate transactions. The Board is of the view that such a system is acceptable if the account records should be obtainable without delay, although the records need not be maintained by customer prior to being produced. The account records so produced must also reflect clearly and accurately all the required information, provide an adequate basis for audit and be fully integrated into the overall recordkeeping system. Under rule G-27, on supervision, a municipal securities principal is required to supervise the activities of municipal securities representatives with respect to customer accounts and other matters. In this connection, it may be appropriate to obtain printouts of customer accounts on a periodic basis.

The Board believes that it is important to maintain account records in the fashion described above in view of several of the Board’s fair practice rules, such as the rules on suitability and churning. Account records will be important both as a tool for management to detect violations of these rules and for enforcement of these rules by the regulatory agencies conducting compliance examinations or responding to complaints.

The requirement to maintain account records does not apply to a firm which effects transactions exclusively with other municipal securities professionals and has no customers, as defined in paragraph (e) of rule G-8.

Rule G-8(a)(iii)—Securities Records

Rule G-8(a)(iii) requires that records be kept showing separately for each municipal security all long and short positions carried by a municipal securities broker or municipal securities dealer for its account or for the account of a customer, 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.

The securities records should reflect not only purchases and sales, but also any movement of securities, such as whether securities have been sent out for validation or transfer. If there is no activity with respect to a particular security, it is not necessary to make daily entries for the security in the securities records. The last entry will be deemed to be carried forward until there is further activity involving the security.

Rule G-8(a)(iii) requires that the securities records show all long security count differences and short count differences classified by the date of physical count and verification on which they were discovered. The Board currently has no rule requiring municipal securities professionals to make periodic securities counts. However, if such counts are made, all count differences must be noted as provided in this section. Commission rule 17a-13 requires municipal securities dealers, other than bank dealers and certain securities firms exempted from the rule, to examine and count securities at least once in each quarter.

The requirement to maintain securities records under rule G-8 does not apply to a firm which effects municipal securities transactions exclusively with other municipal securities professionals and has no customers, as defined in paragraph (e) of rule G-8, provided the firm does not carry positions for its own account and records or fails to deliver, fails to receive and bank loans are reflected in other records of the firm.

Rules G-8(a)(vi) and (vii)—Records for Agency and Principal Transactions

Rules G-8(a)(vi) and (vii) require municipal securities brokers and municipal securities dealers to make and keep records for each agency order and each transaction effected by the municipal securities broker or municipal securities dealer as principal. The records may be in the form of trading tickets or similar documents. In each case, the records must contain certain specified information, including "to the extent feasible, the time of execution."

The phrase "to the extent feasible" is intended to require municipal securities professionals to note the time of execution for each agency and principal transaction except in extraordinary circumstances when it is impossible to determine the exact time of execution. In such cases, the municipal securities professional should note the approximate time of execution and indicate that it is an approximation.

Rule G-8(a)(xi)—Customer Account Information

Rule G-8(a)(xi) requires a municipal securities broker or municipal securities dealer to obtain certain information for each customer. Several distinct questions have been raised with respect to this provision.

The requirement to obtain the requisite information may be satisfied in a number of ways. Some municipal securities brokers and municipal securities dealers have prepared questionnaires which they have had their customers complete and return. Others have instructed their salesmen to obtain the information from customers over the telephone at the time orders are placed. It is not necessary to obtain a written statement from a customer to be in compliance with the provision.

Except for the tax identification or social security number of a customer, the customer account information required by this provision must be obtained prior to the settlement of a transaction. The Board believes that such a requirement is reasonable since the information is basic and important.

The requirement in subparagraph (C) of rule G-8(a)(xi) to obtain the tax identification or social security number of a customer tracks the requirement in section 103.35, Part 103 of Title 31 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which was adopted by the Treasury Department and became effective in June 1972. Under this section, every broker, dealer and bank must obtain the tax identification or social security number of customers. If a broker, dealer or bank is unable to secure such information after reasonable effort, it must maintain a record identifying all such accounts. The Board interprets subparagraph (C) of rule G-8(a)(xi) in a similar fashion to require municipal securities professionals to make a reasonable effort to obtain a customer’s tax identification or social security number and, if they are unable to do so, to keep a record of that fact.

Several inquiries have focused on the scope of subparagraph (G) of rule G-8(a)(xi) which requires that a record be made and kept of the name and address of the beneficial owner or owners of such account if other than the customer and transactions are to be confirmed to such owner or owners.

This provision applies to the situation in which securities are confirmed to an account which has not directly placed the order for the securities. This frequently occurs in connection with investment advisory accounts, where the investment advisor places an order for a client and directs the executing firm to confirm the transaction directly to the investment advisor’s client.

Under rule G-8, the only information which must be obtained in such circumstances for the account to which the transaction is confirmed is the name and address of the account, information which would have to be obtained in any event in order to transmit the confirmation. Since the investment advisor itself is the customer, the other items of customer account information set forth in rule G-8(a)(xi) need not be obtained for the investment advisor’s client. The customer account information applicable to institutional accounts, however, must be obtained with respect to the investment advisor. Also, the account records required by rule G-8(a)(ii) would not be required to be maintained for the investment advisor’s client, although such records would have to be maintained with respect to the account of the investment advisor.

A municipal securities professional is not required to ascertain the name and address of the beneficial owner or owners of an account if such information is not voluntarily furnished. Subparagraph G-8(a)(xi)(G) applies only when an order is entered on behalf of another person and the transaction is to be confirmed directly to the other person.

A recent court decision, Rolf v. Blyth Eastman Dillon & Co. Inc., et al. issued on January 17, 1977, in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, may have important implications with respect to the obligations generally of securities professionals to beneficial owners of accounts, especially to clients of investment advisors. We commend your attention to this decision, which has been appealed.

Rule G-8(c)—Non-Clearing Municipal Securities Brokers and Municipal Securities Dealers

Rule G-8(c) provides that a non-clearing municipal securities broker or municipal securities dealer is not required to make and keep the books and records prescribed by rule G-8 if they are made and kept by a clearing broker, dealer, bank or clearing agency. Accordingly, to the extent that records required by rule G-8 are maintained for a municipal securities broker or municipal securities dealer by a clearing agent, the municipal securities broker or municipal securities dealer does not have to maintain such records. A non-clearing municipal securities broker or municipal securities dealer is still responsible for the accurate maintenance and preservation of the records if they are maintained by a clearing agent other than a clearing broker or dealer, and should assure itself that the records are being maintained by the clearing agent in accordance with applicable recordkeeping requirements of the Board.

In the case of a bank dealer, clearing arrangements must be approved by the appropriate regulatory agency for the bank dealer. The bank regulatory agencies are each considering the adoption of procedures to approve clearing arrangements. It is contemplated that these procedures will require the inclusion of certain provisions in clearing agreements, such as an undertaking by the clearing agent to maintain the bank dealer’s records in compliance with rules G-8 and G-9, and will specify the mechanics for having such arrangements considered and approved. The bank regulatory agencies indicate that they will advise bank dealers subject to their respective jurisdictions on this matter in the near future.

In the case of a securities firm, Commission approval is required for all clearing arrangements with entities other than a broker, dealer or bank. The Commission has recently proposed an amendment to its rule 17a-4 which would eliminate the need to obtain Commission approval of clearing arrangements with such other entities, provided that certain specified conditions are met. If the proposed rule is adopted, the Board would make a corresponding change in rule G-8.

If an agent clears transactions, but transmits copies of all records to the municipal securities broker or municipal securities dealer, and these records are preserved by the municipal securities broker or municipal securities dealer in accordance with rule G-9, the clearing arrangement is not subject to the rule G-8(c).

Rule G-9(b)(viii)(C)—Preservation of Written Communications

Subparagraph (C) of rule G-9(b)(viii) requires municipal securities brokers and municipal securities dealers to preserve for three years all written communications received or sent, including inter-office memoranda, relating to the conduct of the activities of such municipal securities broker or municipal securities dealer with respect to municipal securities.

The communications required to be preserved by this provision relate to the conduct of a firm’s activities with respect to municipal securities. Accordingly, such documents as internal memoranda regarding offerings or bids, letters to or from customers and other municipal securities professionals regarding municipal securities, and research reports must be preserved. Documents pertaining purely to administrative matters, such as vacation policy and the like, would not have to be preserved for purposes of the rule.