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Interpretive Guidance - Interpretive Notices
Publication date:
Municipal Securities Sales Activities in Branch Affiliate and Correspondent Banks Which Are Municipal Securities Dealers

The Board has received several inquiries from banks concerning the activities which may be performed in connection with the marketing of municipal securities through branch, affiliate, and correspondent banks. Rule G-2 of the Board provides that no municipal securities dealer may effect transactions in, or induce or attempt to induce the purchase or sale of any municipal security, unless the dealer in question and every individual associated with it is qualified in accordance with the rules of the Board. Board rule G-3 establishes qualification requirements for municipal securities representatives and other municipal securities professionals. Board rule G-27 requires supervision of municipal securities activities by qualified municipal securities principals.

Activities of Branch, Affiliate and Correspondent Bank Personnel

Bank employees who are not qualified municipal securities representatives may perform certain limited functions in connection with the marketing of municipal securities. Namely, such persons may:

  • advise customers that municipal securities investment services are available in the bank;

  • make available to customers material concerning municipal securities investments, such as market letters and listings of issues handled by the bank's dealer department, which has been approved for distribution by the dealer department's municipal securities principal; and,

  • establish contact between the customer and the dealer department.

Further sales-related activity would be construed as inducing or attempting to induce the purchase or sales of a municipal security, and may only be engaged in by duly-qualified municipal securities representatives.

The Board wishes to emphasize that each bank dealer should take steps to assure that its branch, correspondent, and affiliate bank personnel understand and observe the restrictions outlined above concerning referrals of municipal securities customers to the bank's dealer department.

Placement and Supervision of Municipal Securities Representatives

Bank dealers have also directed inquiries to the federal bank regulators and to the Board concerning whether qualified municipal securities representatives in affiliates or branches of a bank dealer may respond to customer inquiries concerning municipal securities and take customer orders for municipal securities if no municipal securities principal is located in such affiliates or branches. Board rule G-27 places on each broker, dealer, and municipal securities dealer the obligation to supervise the municipal securities activities of its associated persons and the conduct of its municipal securities business. The rule requires that municipal securities dealers designate a municipal securities principal as responsible for the supervision and review of municipal securities transactions and other activities. There is no requirement that a municipal securities principal be located in each office or branch of a municipal securities dealer, provided that adequate supervision of all municipal securities activities can be assured. For purposes of the Board rules, each employee of a branch or affiliate of a bank dealer who communicates with public customers on investment opportunities in municipal securities and who takes customers' orders for such securities would be considered an "associated person" to whom the Board's qualification and supervision requirements would apply.