MSRB NOTICE 2003-43 (NOVEMBER 24, 2003)


The MSRB has become aware of problems in transaction reporting as a result of dealers “bunching” certain inter-dealer transactions in the comparison system.  Recently, some dealers have reported the sum of two trades as one transaction in instances when two dealers effected two trades with each other in the same issue and at the same price.  When two transactions are effected, two transactions should be reflected in each dealer’s books and records and two transactions are required to be reported to the MSRB.  The time of trade for each transaction also must accurately reflect the time at which a contractual commitment was formed for each quantity of securities.  For example, if Dealer A purchases $50,000 of a municipal issue at a price of par from Dealer B at 11:00 am and then purchases an additional $50,000 at par from Dealer B at 2:00 pm, two transactions are required to be reflected on each dealers’ books and records and two transactions are required to be reported to the MSRB.

Since the same inter-dealer trade record submitted for automated comparison under Rule G-12(f) also is used to satisfy the requirements of Rule G-14, on transaction reporting, each inter-dealer transaction should be submitted for automated comparison separately in order to comply with Rule G-14’s requirement to report all transactions.  Failure to do so causes erroneous information concerning transaction size and time of trade to appear in the transparency reports published by the MSRB as well as in the audit trail used by regulators and enforcement agencies.  To the extent that dealers use the records generated by the comparison system for purposes of complying with MSRB Rule G-8, on recordkeeping, it may also create erroneous information as to the size of transactions effected or time of trade execution.

Questions on this notice may be directed to Justin R. Pica, Uniform Practice Specialist, or P. John Baughman, Senior Data Analyst, at 703-797-6600.

November 24, 2003