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Upon Written Request, Copies Available From: Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Filings and Information Services, Washington, DC 20549.

Extension:

Rule 17Ad-4(b) & (c), SEC File No. 270-264, OMB Control No. 3235-0341.

Rule 15, SEC File No. 270-360, OMB Control No. 3235-0409.

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget requests for extension on the previously Start Printed Page 44082approved collections of information discussed below.

Rule 17Ad-4(b) & (c) Notices Regarding Exempt Transfer Agent Status

Rule 17Ad-4(b) & (c) is used to document when transfer agents are exempt, or no longer exempt, from the minimum performance standards and certain recordkeeping provisions of the Commission's transfer agent rules. Rule 17Ad-4(c) sets forth the conditions under which a registered transfer agent loses it exempt status. Once the conditions for exemption no longer exist, the transfer agent, to keep the appropriate regulatory authority (“ARA” apprised of its current status, must prepare, and file if the ARA for the transfer agent is the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“BGFRS”) or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), a notice of loss of exempt status under paragraph (c). The transfer agent then cannot claim exempt status under Rule 17Ad-4(b) again until it remains subject to the minimum performance standards for non-exempt transfer agents for six consecutive months. The ARAs use the information contained in the notice to determine whether a registered transfer agent qualifies for the exemption, to determine when a registered transfer agent no longer qualifies for the exemption, and to determine the extent to which the transfer agent is subject to regulation.

The BGFRS receives approximately twelve notices of exempt status and six notices of loss of exempt status annually. The FDIC receives approximately eighteen notices of exempt status and three notices of loss of exempt status annually. The Commission and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) do not require transfer agents to file notice of exempt status or loss of exempt status. Instead, transfer agents whose ARA is the Commission or OCC need only to prepare and maintain these notices. The Commission estimates that approximately sixteen notices of exempt status and loss of exempt status are prepared annually by transfer agents whose ARA is the Commission. Similarly, the OCC estimates that the transfer agents for which it is the ARA, prepare and maintain approximately fifteen notices of exempt status and loss of exempt status annually. Thus, a total of approximately seventy notices of exempt status and loss of exempt status are prepared and maintained by transfer agents annually. Of these seventy notices, approximately forty are filed with an ARA. Any additional costs associated with filing such notices would be limited primarily to postage, which would be minimal. Since the Commission estimates that no more than one-half hour is required to prepare each notice, the total annual burden to transfer agents is approximately thirty-five hours. The average cost per hour is approximately $30. Therefore, the total cost of compliance to the transfer agent community is $1,050.

Rule 17Ad-15 Signature Guarantees

Rule 17Ad-15 requires approximately 1,093 transfer agents to establish written standards for accepting and rejecting guarantees of securities transfers from eligible guarantor institutions. Transfer agents are also required to establish procedures to ensure that those standards are used by the transfer agent to determine whether to accept or reject guarantees from eligible guarantor institutions. Transfer agents must maintain, for a period of three years following the date of a rejection of transfer, a record of all transfers rejected, along with the reason for the rejection, identification of the guarantor, and whether the guarantor filed to meet the transfer agent's guaranteed standard. These recordkeeping requirements assist the Commission and other regulatory agencies with monitoring transfer agents and ensuring compliance with the rule.

There are approximately 1,093 registered transfer agents. Of the 1,093 registered transfer agents, approximately 120 will receive fewer than 100 items for transfer. The staff expects that more small transfer agents will have few, if any, rejections. The average number of hours necessary for every transfer agents agent to comply with the Rule 17Ad-15 is about forty hours annually. The total burden is 43,720 hours for all transfer agents. The average cost per hour is approximately $30. Therefore, the total cost of compliance for all transfer agents is about $1,311,600.

The retention period for the recordkeeping requirement under Rule 17Ad-15 is three years following the date of a rejection of transfer. The recordkeeping requirement under the rule is mandatory to assist the Commission and other regulatory agencies with monitoring transfer agents and ensuring compliance with the rule. This rule does not involve the collection of confidential information. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number.

General comments regarding the estimated burden hours should be directed to the following persons: (i) Desk Officer for the Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Room 3208, New Executive Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20503. and (ii) Micheal E. Bartell, Associate Executive Director, Office of Information Technology, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 Fifth Street, Washington, D.C. 20549. Comments must be submitted to OMB within 30 days of this notice.

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Dated: July 10, 2000.

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 00-18006 Filed 7-14-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-M