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Working with Financial Professionals

Working with Financial Professionals

Several types of regulated municipal market professionals provide services to municipal bond investors, state and local governments, and other clients. Investors work through a securities representative of a broker to buy or sell municipal securities. State and local governments and other entities that issue municipal securities hire an underwriter and often a municipal advisor to assist them in the issuance of their municipal securities.

Representatives of regulated municipal market firms have specific professional qualification requirements and standards of conduct obligations under MSRB rules. While the MSRB develops the rules to ensure a fair and efficient municipal securities market, other regulators (called “examining authorities”) enforce the MSRB’s rules, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Federal Reserve System (FRS) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).


Investors: What to Do Before Working with a Broker to Buy or Sell Municipal Securities

1. Check the Broker’s MSRB Registration Status

Before working with a representative of a brokerage firm, verify that the firm is properly registered with the MSRB.

2. Verify the Securities Representative Has the Requisite Qualification
Generally, a securities representative must have passed the MSRB’s Municipal Securities Representative Qualification Examination (Series 52) to buy or sell municipal securities. Read more about professional qualification requirements in the securities industry.

 

3. Research the Background of Your Broker’s Securities Representative
To research the employment history, professional qualifications and, if applicable, disciplinary history of a securities representative, use FINRA’s BrokerCheck website. Securities representatives and their firms have a continuing obligation to update this information if it changes or becomes inaccurate.

Note that if the securities representative is associated with a firm that is not a FINRA member, BrokerCheck will not have information about the representative or their firm. Some brokers are registered as bank-dealers and subject to oversight by bank regulators (FRS, FDIC or OCC).

     Investor Brochure
Read about rule protections when
working with a municipal securities
dealer and how to file a complain
t.

 

 


 

 

Issuers: What to Do Before Working with a Municipal Advisor to Assist in the Issuance of Municipal Securities:

1. Check Municipal Advisor’s MSRB Registration Status
Before working with a municipal advisor, verify that the firm is properly registered with the MSRB.

2. Verify Professional Credentials
All municipal advisor representatives providing advice to state and local governments and other clients regarding the issuance of municipal securities for financing municipal infrastructure projects or other public purposes must have passed the MSRB’s Municipal Advisor Representative Qualification Examination (Series 50) to engage in these activities. Read more about professional qualifications in the securities industry. 

3. Research the Background of Your Municipal Advisor
\u200bTo research the employment history and disciplinary history of a municipal advisor firm and its representatives, click on the firm or professional’s name in the MSRB’s list of Series-50-qualified municipal advisors to access this information on the SEC’s EDGAR website. Municipal advisor representatives and their firms have a continuing obligation to update this information if it changes or becomes inaccurate.

    

Municipal Advisory Client Brochure
Read about rule protections when
working with a municipal advisor
and how to file a complaint
.

 

 


 

 

Issuers: What to Do Before Working with an Underwriter to Issue Municipal Securities:

1. Check the Underwriter’s MSRB Registration Status
Before working with an underwriter, verify that the firm is properly registered with the MSRB.

2. Verify the Underwriter’s Professional Credentials
Generally, representatives of an underwriter must have passed the MSRB’s Municipal Securities Representative Qualification Examination (Series 52) to underwrite issues of municipal securities. Read more about professional qualification requirements under MSRB rules.

3. Research the Background of Your Underwriter
To research the employment history, professional qualifications and disciplinary history of a underwriter and its representatives, use FINRA’s BrokerCheck website. Underwriters and their representatives have a continuing obligation to update this information if it changes or becomes inaccurate.

Note that if an underwriter is not a FINRA member, BrokerCheck will not have information about the firm or their representatives. Some underwriters are registered as bank-dealers and subject to oversight by bank regulators (FRS, FDIC or OCC).


Contact the MSRB:
Call MSRB Support at 202-838-1330 or email MSRBsupport@MSRB.org for assistance with researching a firm or professional.


File a Complaint:
Working with a regulated municipal market professional that may not be properly qualified or complying with MSRB rules? Read more about filing a complaint about a municipal market professional.