MSRB Publishes Information on its Compliance and Market Leadership Activities

Date: November 9, 2017

Contact: Jennifer A. Galloway, Chief Communications Officer


Washington, DC – In support of its long-term strategic goals, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) plans to provide additional resources and tools for municipal securities dealers and municipal advisors to facilitate compliance with MSRB rules. In addition, the MSRB will continue to provide reports and commentary that promote dialogue about market practices, products or trends that can have an impact on the integrity of the municipal securities market. The MSRB today released two publications to clarify its approach to compliance and market leadership activities.

“As a self-regulatory organization, it is important that we effectively communicate the MSRB’s intent with respect to regulatory and market issues,” said MSRB Executive Director Lynnette Kelly. “Our compliance activities are focused squarely on MSRB regulations and will be informed by stakeholder engagement. We have formed an external advisory group and will be continuing to seek input from municipal securities dealers and municipal advisors to ensure that our resources and tools reflect that input.”

The MSRB’s compliance support activities will include issuing interpretive guidance to clarify the application of an MSRB rule or creating a sample template, fact sheet or other compliance resource to serve as a reference for regulated entities. The MSRB also publishes annual compliance advisories to highlight considerations for municipal securities dealers and municipal advisors when assessing the effectiveness of their supervisory systems and compliance processes. Read more about the types of compliance information.

Consistent with the MSRB’s obligation to protect investors, issuers and the public interest, the MSRB publishes— when the Board of Directors believes appropriate—market advisories, reports or other commentary to bring attention to issues in the municipal securities market that may have an impact on market integrity and fairness. The MSRB also contributes data and expertise to inform policy discussions on topics related to the municipal securities market. Read more about the MSRB’s market leadership activities.

“It is the MSRB’s responsibility to flag troubling market practices we believe are potentially harmful to investors or municipal entities, even if they fall outside of our rulemaking authority,” Kelly said. “Our market leadership activities do not propose rulemaking but rather raise awareness of issues that could be detrimental to the integrity of the market and further encourage dialogue among market participants. We have been doing this for some time, one example being our advocacy for increased disclosure by municipal securities issuers of bank loans.”

The MSRB will clearly label and identify new compliance and market leadership publications to communicate the intent of these publications and help the market participants make best use of the information.

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.