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Portfolio Credit Analyst

Portfolio credit analyst. This will acknowledge with thanks receipt of your letter dated May 2, 1978 concerning the status of persons occupying the position of portfolio credit analyst at your bank. Your letter, as well as our telephone conversations prior and subsequent to the letter, raise two questions concerning the status of such persons under Board rules. First, are the functions of a portfolio credit analyst subject to the requirements of rule G-1, which defines a separately identifiable dealer department or division of a bank? Second, must a portfolio credit analyst qualify as a municipal securities representative or municipal securities principal under Board rule G-3?

Although we recognize that the primary purpose of the portfolio credit analyst, as set forth in the material you furnished to me, is to review your bank's investment portfolio, a function not subject to Board regulation, to the extent that the analyst provides research advice and analysis in connection with your bank's underwriting, trading or sales activities, the analyst must be included within the municipal securities dealer department for purposes of rule G-1, and is subject to the qualification requirements of rule G-3.

Under Board rule G-1, a separately identifiable department or division of a bank is that unit of the bank which conducts all of the municipal securities dealer activities of the bank. Section (b) of the rule defines municipal securities dealer activities to include research with respect to municipal securities to the extent such research relates to underwriting, trading, sales or financial advisory and consultant services performed by the bank. Thus, we think it clear that for purposes of rule G-1, persons functioning as portfolio credit analysts who render research in connection with underwriting, trading or sales activities at your bank must be included within the separately identifiable department or division of the bank for purposes of rule G-1. This is consistent with the underlying purpose of rule G-1 to assure that all of the functions performed at the bank relating to the business of the bank as a municipal securities dealer are appropriately identified for purposes of supervision, inspection and enforcement.

Under rule G-3(a)(iii)[*] a municipal securities representative is defined as a person associated with a municipal securities broker or municipal securities dealer who performs certain functions similar to those defined as municipal securities dealer activities in rule G-1. The position of portfolio credit analyst as described in your letter and accompanying material appears to fit the definition of municipal securities representative to the extent that persons occupying such position perform research in connection with the bank's underwriting, trading or sales activities. Under rule G-3(e)[†], municipal securities representatives are required to qualify in accordance with Board rules. A similar result would obtain with respect to qualification as a municipal securities principal, if the portfolio credit analyst functions in a supervisory capacity. MSRB interpretation of June 8, 1978.



[*] [Currently codified at rule G-3(a)(i)]

[†] [Currently codified at rule G-3(a)(ii)]