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Time of Receipt and Execution of Orders

Time of receipt and execution of orders. This is in response to your March 3, 1987 letter regarding the application of rule G-8, on recordkeeping, to [name deleted]'s (the “Bank”) procedure on time stamping of municipal securities order tickets. You note that it is the Bank's policy to indicate on order tickets the date and time of receipt of the order and the date and time of execution of the order. You note, however, that when the order and execution occur simultaneously, it is your procedure to time stamp the order ticket once. You ask for Board approval of this policy.

Rule G-8(a)(vi) provides in pertinent part for a “memorandum of each agency order . . . showing the date and time of receipt of the order . . . and the date of execution and to the extent feasible, the time of execution . . .” Rule G-8(a)(vii) includes a similar requirement for principal transactions with customers. As noted in a Board interpretive notice on recordkeeping, the phrase “to the extent feasible” is intended to require municipal securities professionals to note the time of execution of each transaction except in extraordinary circumstances when it might be impossible to determine the exact time of execution. However, even in those unusual situations, the rule requires that at least the approximate time be noted.[1] This rule parallels SEC rule 17a-3(a)(6) and (7) on recordkeeping.

Thus, rule G-8(a)(vi) and (vii) required agency and principal orders to be time stamped upon receipt and upon execution. The requirement is designed to allow the dealer and the appropriate examining authority to determine whether the dealer has complied with rule G-18, on execution of transactions, and rule G-30, on pricing. Rule G-18 states that when a dealer is “executing a transaction in municipal securities for or on behalf of a customer as an agent, it shall make a reasonable effort to obtain a price for the customer that is fair and reasonable in relation to prevailing market conditions.”  Rule G-30(a) states that a dealer shall not effect a principal transaction with a customer except at a fair and reasonable price, taking into consideration all relevant factors including the fair market value of the securities at the time of the transaction. It is impossible to determine what the prevailing market conditions were at the time of the execution of the order if the date and time of execution are not recorded. In addition, it is important to time stamp the receipt and execution of an order so that a record can be maintained of when the order is executed.

Thus, even when the order and execution occur simultaneously, rule G-8 requires that two time stamps be included on order tickets. MSRB interpretation of April 20, 1987.

[1] See [Rule G-8 Interpretation –] Interpretive Notice on Recordkeeping (July 29, 1977) [reprinted in MSRB Rule Book].