Back to top

Maintenance of Securities Record

Maintenance of securities record. I refer to your letter of April 9, 1979 concerning rule G-8(a)(iii), which requires the maintenance of a securities record. This letter is intended to address your questions concerning that provision.

Rule G-8(a)(iii) requires every municipal securities dealer to make and keep

records showing separately for each municipal security all positions (including, in the case of a municipal securities dealer other than a bank dealer, securities in safekeeping) carried by such municipal securities dealer for its own account or for the account of a customer (with all "short" trading positions so designated), the location of all such securities long and the offsetting position to all such securities short, and the name or other designation of the account in which each position is carried.

Rule G-8(a)(iii) further provides that "[s]uch records shall consist of a single record system...," and that "...a bank dealer shall maintain records of the location of securities in its own trading account."

The purpose of the requirement to maintain a "securities record" is to provide a means of securities control, ensuring that all securities owned by the dealer or with respect to which the dealer has outstanding contractual commitments are accounted for in the dealer's records. To achieve this purpose, the record is commonly constructed in "trial balance" format, with information as to the "ownership" of securities reflected on the "long," or debit side, and information as to the location on the "short," or credit side of the record. The record therefore serves a different function from the subsidiary records, such as the "fail" records, required to be maintained under other provisions of the rule. The subsidiary records reflect the details of particular securities transactions; the securities record assures that a municipal securities dealer's over-all position is in balance.

In your letter you inquire specifically whether this record can be constructed through the use of duplicate copies of subsidiary records. The rule requires a system of records organized by security, showing all positions in such security. Record systems organized by position or locations, showing all securities held in such position or location, cannot serve the same balancing and control function.

The securities record, however, does not have to be maintained on a single sheet or ledger card per security. Although this is the most common means of maintaining a securities record, certain municipal securities dealers prepare segments of the record in different physical locations, bringing the segments together at the close of the business day to compose the securities record. This practice is permissible under the rule.

Finally, you have inquired regarding the possibility of maintaining the securities record on a unit system basis. Records in such a system are kept in the form of a group of documents or related groups of documents, most often files of duplicate confirmations. The maintenance of the securities record on such a basis would be acceptable provided that the required information is clearly and accurately reflected and there is an adequate basis for audit. I would note, however, that utilization of a unit system would probably only be feasible for a municipal securities dealer with very limited activity.

I hope this letter is helpful to you in responding to inquiries from your members. If you or any of your members have any further questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us. MSRB interpretation of April 16, 1979.