MSRB NOTICE 2012-63 (DECEMBER 18, 2012)

REQUEST FOR COMMENT ON MSRB RULES AND INTERPRETIVE GUIDANCE

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”) is initiating a review of its rules and related interpretive guidance for brokers, dealers, municipal securities dealers and municipal advisors in the context of the MSRB’s obligation to protect investors, municipal entities and obligated persons, and the public interest.  While the MSRB takes steps to consider evolving market conditions in its rulemaking, it is soliciting comments to determine whether any rules or guidance should be revised or restated due to changes in market practices or conditions, or to be more closely aligned with rules of other self-regulatory organizations or government agencies so as to promote more effective and efficient compliance.[1]

The MSRB is seeking industry and public comment in connection with this review, including comment from investors, municipal entities and obligated persons, on whether any of its current rules or interpretive guidance warrants reconsideration.  Commenters should consider the MSRB’s statutory mandates and the federal standards governing its rules, including the requirements that rules be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative practices, promote just and equitable principles of trade, and foster a free and open market in municipal securities and municipal financial products.[2]  Consideration also should be given to whether a particular rule or interpretive guidance imposes any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in light of its intended purpose.

Comments may be of a general nature or may address any of the specific questions below.  To assist the MSRB in its review and to the extent possible, please provide data or evidence to support your views.  Commenters should clearly identify which rules or interpretive guidance they are referring to when answering each question.

  1. Are there any MSRB rules or related interpretive guidance, while continuing to be applicable or necessary, that should be revised due to changed market practices, introduction of new or different products or market participants, or otherwise, and if so, what revisions would be appropriate?
  2. Are there any MSRB rules or related interpretive guidance that should be consolidated with or codified in an existing rule or related interpretive guidance?
  3. Are there any MSRB rules or related interpretive guidance that are no longer applicable or necessary, and if so, why?
  4. Are there any MSRB rules or related interpretive guidance that impose an undue burden on brokers, dealers, municipal securities dealers, municipal advisors, or municipal entities?  If so, please provide detail regarding such burden (quantify the burden, if data is available) and suggestions for mitigating such burden, including alternatives for the MSRB to consider.
  5. Do any of the MSRB’s rules or related interpretive guidance fail to accomplish their intended purpose, and if so, why?
  6. Are there any MSRB rules or related interpretive guidance that could be modified to promote more efficient compliance by brokers, dealers, municipal securities dealers and municipal advisors?  If so, please provide details regarding such modifications and the corresponding benefits.
  7. Are there any current market conditions or practices that warrant examination by the MSRB for potential new rules or interpretive guidance, including those that would protect municipal entities, obligated persons, investors, or the public interest?

Comments should be submitted no later than February 19, 2013, and may be submitted in electronic or paper form.  Comments may be submitted electronically by clicking here.  Comments submitted in paper form should be sent to Ronald W. Smith, Corporate Secretary, Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, 1900 Duke Street, Suite 600, Alexandria, VA 22314.  All comments will be available for public inspection on the MSRB’s website.[3]

Questions about this notice should be directed to Lawrence P. Sandor, Deputy General Counsel, Regulatory Support, or Darlene Brown, Assistant General Counsel, at 703-797-6600.

December 18, 2012


[1] This request for comment should not be construed as any determination by the MSRB to amend, delete, or consolidate any of its rules or guidance.  The comments received will be considered by the MSRB Board of Directors and any rulemaking arising from this review will be subject to the standards for MSRB rulemaking and guidance, which include public comment and approval of MSRB rule proposals by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

[2] See 15 U.S.C. 78o-4(b)(2)(C).

[3] Comments are posted on the MSRB website without change.  Personal identifying information such as name, address, telephone number, or email address, will not be edited from submissions.  Therefore, commenters should submit only information that they wish to make available publicly.