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Syndicate Records

Syndicate records. I am writing in response to your letters of October 2 and October 19, 1981 concerning a particular recordkeeping arrangement used by an NASD-member firm in connection with its underwriting activities. In your letters you indicate that the firm conducts its underwriting activities from its main office and four regional branch office "commitment centers," with the committing branch offices authorized to commit to underwriting new issues on the firm's behalf. You inquire whether the firm is in compliance with the Board's recordkeeping and record retention rules if it maintains only part of the records on its underwritings in the main office. Correspondence from a field examiner attached to your letters indicates that the committing branch office originating a particular underwriting maintains all of the records with respect to such underwriting. The majority of these records are the original copies; the copies of confirmations, good faith checks, and syndicate settlement checks maintained at the committing branch office are duplicates of original records maintained at the firm's main office.

Rule G-9(d) requires that books and records shall be maintained and preserved in an easily accessible place for two years and shall be available for ready inspection by the proper regulatory authorities. The fact that the member firm does not maintain all records with respect to all of its underwriting activities in a single location does not contravene these provisions of Board rule G-9. Rule G-9 would permit the arrangement described in your letters, whereby a firm maintains copies of all of the records pertaining to a particular underwriting in the office responsible for that underwriting.

Thank you for your prompt assistance in providing the additional information we needed in order to respond to your inquiry. MSRB interpretation of October 21, 1981.