MSRB Announces Approval of All-Electronic Municipal Disclosure Service

Date: May 22, 2009

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


Alexandria, VA - The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) today announced that its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) website has been approved to serve as the official repository for all new issue municipal securities disclosure documents and trade price transparency data.  The MSRB has been operating EMMA on a pilot basis since March 2008, and today received approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to collect and provide for free on EMMA, on a permanent basis, all primary market documents and daily trade data for municipal bonds beginning June 1, 2009.

Today's SEC approval requires municipal securities dealers to submit primary market disclosure documents to the MSRB electronically starting June 1, 2009.  Currently dealers are permitted to send these documents to the MSRB in paper form.  The MSRB also is establishing on June 1, 2009 a real-time subscription to the MSRB's primary market document library, simplifying how information vendors can obtain and redistribute to the market critical disclosure information on a timely basis.

Ronald A. Stack, Chair of the MSRB, said, "The establishment on a permanent basis of the complete and free electronic repository of new issue municipal bond documents and trade data in EMMA is a critical milepost on the way to the MSRB's ultimate goal of providing a centralized venue for retail investors to access all of the key information they need when investing in municipal securities."  He said the change to an all-electronic dissemination standard in the municipal securities market "will allow for significantly faster and broader electronic access by investors and the general public to official statements on EMMA than occurs under the current paper-based system." 

The MSRB's development of EMMA as a comprehensive resource for retail investors will reach another milepost on July 1, 2009, when the MSRB will add continuing disclosure documents to EMMA.  At that time, the website will become the official public distribution channel for all municipal disclosure documents and transparency data.

Since March 2008, the MSRB has been operating EMMA as an important transparency tool for investors.  The MSRB has continually added new features over the last 14 months, including the addition of daily market statistics and interest rate information on municipal auction rate securities and variable rate demand obligations.

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.