MSRB Seeks Input on Potential Enhancements to Price Transparency in the Municipal Market

Date: July 31, 2013

Contact: Jennifer A. Galloway, Chief Communications Officer
             (703) 797-6600


Alexandria, VA – The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) today announced it is seeking additional public input on transforming the public display of real-time trade prices on its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website into a platform with dramatically enhanced municipal securities pricing information.

Today’s concept proposal on expanding pre- and post-trade data in the municipal market  is the second in a series of proposals to address the issue of price transparency, particularly for retail investors. In a January 2013 concept proposal, the MSRB first sought feedback on industry technological capabilities and constraints for price transparency and explored shortening the 15-minute window for reporting trades. Both concept releases are an outgrowth of the MSRB’s Long-Range Plan for Market Transparency Products, which in 2012 envisioned developing an integrated display of relevant pricing-related data. The releases also address concerns raised in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s subsequent report of July 2012 about the amount and quality of price discovery information available in the municipal market.

The current concept release seeks to gather information on the potential costs and benefits of adding new information to trade reporting requirements for municipal securities dealers and enhancing the process of collecting and disseminating post-trade data. The MSRB also poses questions on key regulatory components needed to create a first-of-its-kind free public access venue for pre-trade data in the municipal securities market.

“The MSRB is taking an incremental approach to the development of an expanded, interactive and real-time display of pricing-related market data on the EMMA website,” said MSRB Executive Director Lynnette Kelly. “We want to make useful information available but also need to take into account industry practices and technology in the development of the next generation price transparency system.”

Comments should be submitted to the MSRB no later than November 1, 2013.

The MSRB protects investors, state and local governments and other municipal entities, and the public interest by promoting a fair and efficient municipal securities market. The MSRB fulfills this mission by regulating the municipal securities firms, banks and municipal advisors that engage in municipal securities and advisory activities. To further protect market participants, the MSRB provides market transparency through its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website, the official repository for information on all municipal bonds. The MSRB also serves as an objective resource on the municipal market, conducts extensive education and outreach to market stakeholders, and provides market leadership on key issues. The MSRB is a self-regulatory organization governed by a 21-member board of directors that has a majority of public members, in addition to representatives of regulated entities. The MSRB is overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Congress.