New MSRB Report Examines Trends in Customer Trading Activity of Municipal Securities Dealers

Date: June 19, 2018

Contact: Jennifer A. Galloway, Chief Communications Officer


Washington, DC – The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) today published a report that shows—despite sharp declines in dealer inventories of municipal securities and the number of dealers—municipal securities trading activity on behalf of investors has remained relatively stable over the past several years, with robust dealer participation and less concentration among top dealers.

Today’s report is the first-ever to analyze changes and trends in the customer trading activity of municipal securities dealers. The report notes the steady decline in the number of municipal securities dealers since 2006 but finds that most dealers that have exited the market were infrequent traders of municipal securities.

Our analysis shows that most dealers that have exited the market provided little liquidity and participated in very few trades—typically fewer than 10 trades in a year,” said MSRB Director of Research Marcelo Vieira. “Meanwhile, the number of dealers with substantial municipal business—those executing more than 25,000 trades per year—has increased.”

The MSRB’s Dealer Participation and Concentration in Municipal Securities Trading  report also examines dealer concentration, or the dealer market share of municipal customer trades. Market share of top dealers has declined since 2006, when the top five dealers accounted for 42.2 percent of municipal customer trades. In 2017, the top five dealers accounted for 34.6 percent of all municipal customer trades. The report includes detailed tables and statistics on dealer participation and concentration, aggregated by bands of trade volume and most-active dealers.

The MSRB evaluates municipal market trends as part of its mission to promote a fair and efficient market and plans to continue studying dealer data. Public and industry input on additional topics, including trends in the inter-dealer market, is welcome and should be referred to Marcelo Vieira at

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.