MSRB Seeks Comment on Rule G-34 CUSIP Requirement for Municipal Advisors

Date: February 27, 2019

Contact: Jennifer A. Galloway, Chief Communications Officer


Washington, DC – In connection with its ongoing retrospective review of its rules and guidance, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) is seeking comment on a provision of MSRB Rule G-34 that generally requires a municipal advisor advising an issuer with respect to a competitive sale of a new issue of municipal securities to apply for the assignment of a CUSIP number or numbers with respect to such issue within a specified time frame.

In early 2018, the MSRB extended an existing requirement for dealers acting as financial advisors to apply for CUSIP numbers in competitive offerings to all municipal advisors advising on such offerings.  However, based on the municipal securities market’s experience with the provision, and stakeholder input regarding the utility and the burden of this requirement in practice, the Board of Directors of the MSRB determined that a retrospective review of the operation of the CUSIP requirement was merited.

“Further examining the potential burdens of the CUSIP requirement is warranted based on market feedback,” said MSRB President and CEO Lynnette Kelly. “We are interested in formal public input whether or not the CUSIP requirement for dealer and non-dealer municipal advisors is beneficial to the market.”

The MSRB began a formal retrospective rule review in 2012 to help ensure MSRB rules and interpretive guidance are effective in their principal goal of protecting investors, issuers and the public interest. The retrospective review also seeks to ensure that MSRB rules are not overly burdensome, are clear and harmonized with the rules of other regulators, as appropriate, and are reflective of current market practices. In October 2018, the Board identified the continuation of its ongoing retrospective rule review as a strategic priority for its current fiscal year and subsequently developed criteria to help identify priority rules or rule areas for review. 

Read more about the MSRB’s retrospective rule review.

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.