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Inclusion of IDB-Related Activities

Inclusion of IDB-related activities. This responds to your letter of June 14, 1983 concerning your request for an interpretation of Board rule G-1, which defines a "separately identifiable department or division" of a bank. In particular, you request our advice concerning whether certain activities engaged in by your Corporate Finance Division (the "Division") should be considered "municipal securities dealer activities" for purposes of the rule. Your letter and a subsequent telephone conversation set forth the following facts:

The Division acts as financial advisor to certain corporate customers of the Bank. Some of these customers wish to raise money through the issuance of IDBs. In order to assist these corporations in the placement of the IDBs, the Division contacts from one to ten institutional investors and provides them with information regarding the terms of the proposed financing and basic facts about the corporation. If the investor expresses interest in the financing, a confidential memorandum describing the financing, prepared by the corporation with the assistance of the Division, is sent.

During negotiations between the corporation and the investor, the Division may act as a liaison between the two parties in the communication of comments on the financing documents. According to the bank, the Division is not an agent of the corporation and is not authorized to act on behalf of the corporation in accepting any terms or conditions associated with the proposed financing. For its services, the Division usually receives a percentage of the total dollar amount of securities issued, with a minimum contingent on the successful completion of the deal. While the bank has established a separately identifiable division pursuant to rule G-1, the Division is not part of it.

Your inquiry was discussed by the Board at its July meeting. The Board is of the view that the activities of the Division, as described, constitute the sales of municipal securities for purposes of the definition of municipal securities dealer activities in Board rule G-1. Therefore, these activities should be conducted in the bank's registered separately identifiable department by persons qualified under the Board's professional qualifications rules. MSRB interpretation of July 26, 1983.