Rule G-22 Control Relationships

Associated person on issuer governing body - June 25, 1987

Associated person on issuer governing body. This will respond to your letter to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board concerning rule G-22 on disclosure of control relationships. You ask whether the rule requires a dealer to disclose to customers that an associated person of the dealer is a member of a five-person town council that issued the securities.

Rule G-22(c) states that a dealer may not effect a customer transaction in a municipal security with respect to which the dealer has a control relationship, unless the dealer discloses to the customer the nature of the control relationship prior to executing the transaction. Section (a) of rule G-22 defines a control relationship to exist with respect to a security if the dealer controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with the issuer of the security. This includes any control relationship with an associated person of the dealer.1 Whether a control relationship exists in a particular case is a factual question. The Board, however, previously has stated that:

A control relationship with respect to a municipal security does not necessarily exist if an associated person of a securities professional is a member of the governing body or acts as an officer of the issuer of the security. However, if the associated person in fact controls the issuer, rule G-22 does apply. For example, rule G-22 applies if the associated person is the chairman of an issuing authority and, in that capacity, actually makes the decision on behalf of the issuing authority to issue securities. The rule does not apply if the associated person as chairman does not make that decision and does not have the authority alone to make the decision, or if the decision is made by a governing body of which he is only one of several members.2

MSRB interpretation of June 25, 1987.


1 Rule D-11 states that references to “brokers”, “dealers”, “municipal securities dealers”, and “municipal securities brokers” also mean associated persons, unless the context indicates otherwise.

2 Notice of Approval of Fair Practice Rules, October 24, 1978, at 6.


Letters of credit - July 27, 1981

Letters of credit. This is in response to your April 9, 1981, letter asking whether Board rule G-22, regarding control relationships, and G-23, regarding financial advisory agreements, would apply if a bank’s issuance of a letter of credit were contingent upon its being named underwriter or manager for the issue, or if a bank issuing a letter of credit retained authority to require an issuer, in effect, to call the securities.

Rule G-22 provides that

a control relationship with respect to a municipal security shall be deemed to exist if a broker, dealer, or municipal securities dealer (or a bank or other person of which the broker, dealer, or municipal securities dealer is a department or division) controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with the issuer of the security or a person other than the issuer who is obligated, directly or indirectly, with respect to debt service on the security.

The existence of a control relationship is a question of fact to be determined from the entire situation. Most recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission suggested that, for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, a registered broker-dealer would be deemed to be controlled by a person or entity who, among other things, has the ability to direct or cause the direction of management or the policies of the broker-dealer. Based upon the above, it is questionable whether a bank that conditions the issuance of a letter of credit upon being named an underwriter or upon a tie-in deposit arrangement should be deemed to control the issuer. Similarly, it does not appear that a bank that retains discretion under a letter of credit to cause the trustee to call the whole issue has a control relationship with the issuer.

You also ask whether under Board rule G-23 a financial advisory relationship is created if a bank conditions the issuance of a letter of credit upon being named an underwriter or upon obtaining a tie-in deposit arrangement. Under rule G-23, a financial advisory relationship is deemed to exist when a municipal securities professional provides, or enters into an agreement to provide, financial advisory services to, or on behalf of, an issuer with respect to a new issue of securities regarding such matters as the structure, timing or terms of the issue, in return for compensation or for the expectation of compensation. It does not appear that rule G-23 would apply in your example since the bank is not providing financial advisory or consulting services with respect to the structure, timing or other substantive terms of the issue. MSRB interpretation of July 27, 1981.