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Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change by the Pacific Exchange, Inc. Relating to Exchange Rules Under the Minor Rule Plan

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble June 8, 2001.

Pursuant to section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) [1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] notice is hereby given that on April 4, 2001, the Pacific Exchange, Inc. (“PCX”or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission” or “SEC”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II and III below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

The Exchange proposes to increase the fines imposed on ETP Holders, ETP Firms or associated persons of an ETP Firm of its wholly-owned subsidiary, PCX Equities, Inc. (“PCXE” or “Cooperation”) for violating the Exchange rules under the Minor Rule Plan.

II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose, of and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

1. Purpose

The Exchange proposes to amend PCXE's rules governing Minor Rule Plan violations to increase most fines because the Exchange believes that: (1) the current fines are too low to deter violations of PCXE rules; and (2) an increase in the current fines will more adequately sanction violations of the PCXE's order-handling and investigating rules. Many of these violations are processed under the Minor Rule Plan.[3]

Disruptive conduct on the quality floor is currently not fined for a first violation, fined $250 for a second violation and $500 for a third. Multiple violations are calculated on a running two-year basis. Under the proposed increases, these fines will be $500 for a first violation, $2,000 for a second and $3,500 for a third calculated on the same two-year basis.

More serious violations such as a member's failure to cooperate with a PCX examination of its financial responsibility or operational condition, will be fined $2,000 for a first violation, $4,000 for a second violation, and $5,000 for a third violation. A member that impedes or fails to cooperate in an Exchange investigation will be fined $3,500 for a first violation, $4,000 for a second and $5,000 for a third. Less serious violations such as fines or improper dress under the PCXE dress code remains the same at $100 for the first violation, $250 for the second and $500 for the third. Under the proposed rule, the Enforcement Department would continue to exercise its discretion under PCXE Rule 10.12(j) and takes cases out of the Minor Rule Plan to pursue them as formal disciplinary matters if the facts or circumstances warrant such action. The Exchange's proposal also includes amendments to PCXE's Equity Floor Procedure Advices Start Printed Page 32857(“EFPA”) that correspond to the increased Minor Rule Plan fines.

The Exchange believes that adoption of the proposed rule change will serve to significantly strengthen the ability of the Exchange to carry out its oversight responsibilities as a self-regulatory organization. The rule also should aid the Exchange in carrying out its compliance and surveillance functions.

2. Basis

The Exchange believes that this proposal is consistent with section 6(b) [4] of the Act, in general, and furthers the objectives of section 6(b)(5) [5] and 6(b)(6),[6] in particular, in that it is designed to facilitate transactions in securities, to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, and to promote just and equitable principles of trade and provides that Exchange members shall be appropriately disciplined for violations of the rules of the Exchange.

B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

Written comments on the proposed rule change were neither solicited nor received.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

Within 35 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period (i) as the Commission may designate up to 90 days of such date if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the self-regulatory organization consents, the Commission will:

(A) By order approve such proposed rule change, or

(B) institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved.

IV. Solicitation of Comments

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether it is consistent with the Act. Persons making written submissions should file six copies thereof with the Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 Fifth Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549-0609. Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for inspection and copying in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 450 Fifth Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549. Copies of such filing will also be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the PCX. All submissions should refer to File No. SR-PCX-2001-19 and should be submitted by July 9, 2001.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[7]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble


3.  The Exchange notes that when it imposes a sanction in excess of $2,500, it must comply with Rule 19d-1 under the Act. 17 CFR 240.19d-1. Telephone conversation between Cindy Sink, Senior Attorney, Regulatory Policy, PCX, and Jennifer Colihan, Special Counsel, Division of Market Regulation, Commission, on June 8, 2001.

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[FR Doc. 01-15219 Filed 6-15-01; 8:45 am]