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Agency Transaction: Pricing

Agency transaction: pricing. This will acknowledge receipt of your letter of March 17, 1981 concerning the appropriate method of disclosing remuneration on agency transactions. In your letter you indicate that the bank wishes to use one of the following two legends, as appropriate, in disclosing such remuneration:

1) "Commission: Agency Fee $ ... per $1,000 of par value included in/deducted from net price to customer;" or

2) "Commission: Concession received from broker/dealer $ ... per $1,000 of par value."

You inquire whether these legends, indicating the amount of remuneration on a "dollars per bond" basis, are satisfactory for purposes of rule G-15.

Rule G-15(b)[*] requires that

[i]f the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer is effecting a transaction as agent for the customer or as agent for both the customer and another person, the confirmation shall set forth ... the source and amount of any commission or other remuneration received or to be received by the broker, dealer or municipal securities dealer in connection with the transaction.

As you are aware, the Board has previously interpreted this provision to require that an aggregate dollar amount be shown. The Board adopted this position due to its belief that many customers would find it difficult to interpret the meaning of a statement disclosing the remuneration as a percentage of par value or a unit profit per bond, or to relate this information to the "total dollar amount of [the] transaction" required to be shown under G-15(a)(xi)[†].

Accordingly, we are unable to conclude that disclosure of the remuneration in the manner in which you suggest would be satisfactory for purposes of the rule. The total dollar amount of the remuneration should be set forth on the confirmation. MSRB interpretation of April 23, 1981.



[*] [Currently codified at rule G-15(a)(i)(A)(1)(e)]

[†] [Currently codified at rule G-15(a)(i)(A)(6)(a)]