Market Regulation works to maintain a prudent and practical regulatory framework for the municipal market – one that affords appropriate protections for investors and issuers and encourages diversity of people and perspectives throughout the regulatory process to inform rulemaking that promotes regulatory certainty and reduces undue compliance burdens.
The MSRB’s market regulation activities include rulemaking, regulatory coordination and establishing professional qualification standards for municipal market professionals.
- Rulemaking. MSRB rules govern the conduct of regulated entities – brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers (collectively, “dealers”) and municipal advisors (together, “regulated entities”)– and are designed to reflect the special characteristics of the municipal market and its unique regulatory needs.
These rules require regulated entities to observe the highest professional standards in their activities and relationships with investors, municipal entities and other market participants. The MSRB regularly reviews and assesses the effectiveness of its rules and proposes amendments as necessary and appropriate with an eye toward ensuring its rules are responsive to an evolving market and, to the extent practicable for the municipal market, aligned with the rules of other regulators. The MSRB also provides interpretive guidance on the application of its rules as well as compliance resources to assist regulated entities with understanding and complying with MSRB rules.
- Regulatory Coordination and Enforcement Support. The SEC, FINRA and bank regulators have the statutory authority to examine for, and enforce, compliance with MSRB rules.The MSRB coordinates with the examining authorities, providing data, resources and assistance in their examination and enforcement efforts. Information about these authorities is available at:
The examining authorities ensure that firms and their associated persons comply with MSRB rules on underwriting and trading municipal bonds and on providing advice about municipal securities and municipal financial products. The MSRB coordinates closely with these authorities and supports their efforts with a variety of regulatory coordination support programs and other resources, including providing: (a) training opportunities to examination and enforcement staff; (b) frequent dialogue regarding the interpretation of MSRB rules in connection with examinations and enforcement activities; (c) analytical and statistical market data; (d) information products related to MSRB data for use by these regulatory authorities in their surveillance, examination and enforcement activities; (e) a dedicated MSRB website for these authorities to access MSRB resources; (f) information in the identification of emerging risks in the municipal securities market; and (g) reports of potential rule violations to these authorities with jurisdiction to enforce compliance with MSRB rules. The MSRB also provides other agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), with municipal market data to assist such agencies in the enforcement of other laws related to municipal securities.
- Professional Qualification. The MSRB fosters competency of municipal market professionals and compliance with MSRB rules through required professional qualification examinations and continuing education. Associated persons of brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers that engage in municipal securities activities as well as municipal advisors that engage in municipal advisory activities are required to meet the professional qualification standards outlined in MSRB Rule G-3. The MSRB's professional qualification examinations are designed to ensure that such associated persons have the baseline knowledge of the federal securities laws, rules and regulations, including MSRB rules, applicable to the role and responsibilities of such associated persons in the municipal securities market.
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