Working with Financial Professionals

Several types of regulated municipal finance professionals provide services to municipal market investors and state and local governments. Investors work through a broker to buy or sell municipal securities. State and local governments and other entities that issue municipal securities hire a dealer and often a municipal advisor. Municipal securities brokers, dealers, municipal securities dealers and municipal advisors have specific registration requirements and regulatory obligations to their customers. The MSRB registers and writes rules for these professionals. 

Check MSRB Registration Status
Before working with a regulated municipal finance professional, verify that their firm is properly registered with the MSRB. 

Verify Professional Credentials
By September 12, 2017, all individuals providing municipal advisory services must pass the MSRB’s Municipal Advisor Representative Qualification Examination (Series 50). View a list of Series 50-qualified municipal advisor representatives

The Series 50 is designed to test broad-based knowledge of the business and regulations governing municipal advisory activities. The examination is not designed to specifically test each specialized functional role or service that may be provided on behalf of a municipal advisor firm as defined in Section 15B of the Securities Exchange Act and, therefore, does not confer the degree of knowledge and expertise needed to provide a municipal entity or obligated person client with informed advice as required under MSRB Rule G-42. 

Other licensing examinations may be required for municipal securities professionals depending on the nature of their activities. Read more about professional qualifications.

Research the Background of Your Financial Professional
To research the professional background and complaint history of a registered broker-dealer, use the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's (FINRA) BrokerCheck website. Municipal advisor information is available by searching the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) EDGAR website. Information on bank dealers may be obtained from one of three bank regulators: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Federal Reserve System (FRS) or Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). 

What Can You Expect from Municipal Finance Professionals?
The MSRB Education Center includes resources on what to expect when working with municipal finance professionals. Investors can watch a series of videos about what to expect from brokers regarding recommendationsprices and risks associated with municipal securities. Issuers can access resources on understanding the roles and responsibilities of the deal team. 

File a Complaint 
MSRB rules govern the conduct of brokers, dealers, municipal securities dealers and municipal advisors. These rules are enforced by other regulatory authorities. Read more about filing a complaint about a municipal finance professional.