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Yield Disclosures

Yield disclosures. This letter is in response to your inquiry of April 14, 1981 concerning the application of the yield disclosure requirements of Board rule G-15 to a particular transaction effected by your firm. As I indicated to you in my letter of May 9, 1981, the Board was unable to consider your inquiry at its April meeting, and, accordingly, deferred the matter to its July meeting. At that meeting the Board took up your question and authorized my sending you this answer to your inquiry. While we realize that the matter is now moot with respect to the particular transaction about which you were writing, we assume that this question may arise again with respect to future transactions.

In your April 14 letter you inquired concerning a recent sale of new issue securities to a customer. You indicated that the firm had sold all twenty maturities of the new issue to a customer. This sale had been effected at the same premium dollar price for all maturities, and the customer had been advised of the average life of the issue and the yield to the average life. You inquired whether the final money confirmation of this sale should show "one dollar price ... and one yield to the average life," or the dollar price and each of the yields to the twenty different maturities of the issue.[1]

Rule G-15(a)(viii)(B)[*] requires that customer confirmations of transactions in noncallable securities effected on the basis of a dollar price set forth the dollar price and the resulting yield to maturity. In the situation you describe, it would be difficult to conclude that the rule would permit the confirmation to show only a "yield to the average life," omitting any yield to maturity information. Although the "yield to the average life" would provide the customer with some indication of the return on his or her investment, the customer could easily make the mistake of assuming that this would be the yield on all of the securities, and not realize that it is the result of differing yields, with lower yields on the short-term maturities and higher yields on the long-term ones. The Board believes that disclosure of each of the yields to the twenty maturities of the issue would provide the customer with much more accurate information concerning the return on his or her investments. Accordingly, the Board concludes that, in a transaction of this type, the final money confirmation(s) should set forth each of the yields. MSRB interpretation of July 27, 1981.

[1] Although you did not indicate this, we assume that all of these securities are noncallable.

[*] [Currently codified at rule G-15(a)(i)(A)(5)(b)]