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Locked-In Transactions

The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the National Securities Clearing Corporation's ("NSCC") proposed rule change (SR-NSCC-00-13) regarding the submission of trade data for comparison of fixed income inter-dealer transactions.[1]  NSCC proposes to offer its members the ability to submit their fixed income transaction information "locked-in" through Qualified Special Representatives ("QSR") for trades executed via an Alternative Trading System ("ATS").  Locked-in QSR trade data submission currently is only available for transactions in equity securities.  The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board ("MSRB") is publishing this notice to clarify the requirements of MSRB rules G-12(f) and G-14 as they pertain to the submission of locked-in transactions.   

To accomplish a locked-in QSR submission, NSCC members on each side of a trade must have executed, or clear for a firm that executed, their trade through an ATS and previously authorized a specific NSCC-authorized QSR to submit locked-in trades to NSCC on their behalf.  The locked-in transaction records are not compared in the traditional manner through the two-sided NSCC comparison process.  Instead, the QSR itself takes responsibility to ensure that the trade data is correct and the parties have agreed to the trade according to the stated terms.  Once NSCC receives a locked-in trade, it treats it as compared so that the transaction can proceed to netting or other automated settlement procedures. 

MSRB rule G-12(f) on inter-dealer comparison and rule G-14 on Transaction Reporting Procedures each refer to the NSCC comparison process for inter-dealer transactions in municipal securities.  These rules require dealers to submit their inter-dealer trade data to NSCC for purposes of comparison and for forwarding to the MSRB for trade-reporting purposes.  Questions may arise as to whether the submission of trade data already locked-in by a QSR complies with these rules.  

NSCC's proposal requires that a QSR must obtain authorization to submit locked-in transactions both from NSCC as well as from the NSCC members who wish to use the QSR for locked-in trade submission.  Given this fact, and the fact that both rules G-12(f) and G-14 specifically contemplate the use of intermediaries in submitting data to NSCC and to the MSRB, locked-in trades submitted under NSCC's program will comply both with rule G-12(f) and rule G-14.

[1] See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 43949 (Feb. 9, 2001), 66 FR 10765 (Feb. 16, 2001)