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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change and Amendment Nos. 1 and 2 by the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. to Amend Schedule A to the NASD By-Laws Relating to Transaction Fees

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Start Preamble July 8, 2002.

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 May 21, 2002, the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (“NASD” or “Association”) 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 NASD. On June 26, 2002, the NASD amended the proposal.[3] The NASD again amended the proposal on June 27, 2002.[4] The Association filed the proposal pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act,[5] and Rule 19b-4(f)(2) thereunder [6] as one establishing or changing a due, fee, or other charge, which renders the proposed rule change effective upon filing with the Commission. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change, as amended, from interested persons.

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

The NASD proposes to amend Section 8(b) of Schedule A to the NASD By-Laws to conform Schedule A to Section 31 of the Act,[7] as amended by H.R. 1088, the Investor and Capital Markets Fee Relief Act (“Fee Relief Act”). The text of the proposed rule change is below. Proposed additions are in italics; proposed deletions are in brackets.

BY-LAWS OF NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SECURITIES DEALERS, INC.

Schedule A

* * * * *

Section 8—Transaction Fees

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(b) SEC transaction fee. Each member shall be assessed an SEC transaction fee. The amount of the transaction fee shall be determined by the SEC in accordance with Section 31 of the Act. [of 1/300 of one percent of the aggregate dollar value of sales of covered securities transacted by or through such member. For purposes of this section, covered securities shall mean:

(i) all securities traded otherwise than on a national securities exchange (other than bonds, debentures, other evidences on indebtedness, and any sale or any class of sales of securities which the Securities and Exchange Commission may exempt from the fee imposed by Section 31 of the Act, and securities described in subparagraph (ii)) that are subject to prompt last sale reporting and

(ii) effective October 1, 1997, securities registered on a national securities exchange pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act (other than bonds, debentures, other evidences o[n]f indebtedness, and any sale or any class of sales of securities which the Securities and Exchange Commission may exempt from the fee imposed by Section 31 of the Act) traded otherwise than on such exchange.]

* * * * *

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 NASD 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 Association 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

Section 31 of the Act provides for the assessment of transaction fees (“Section 31 fees”) to be paid to the Commission. Section 31 levies transaction fees for exchange and off-exchange traded securities. Schedule A, Section 8(b) of the NASD By-Laws provides that these fees are assessed at a rate equal to 1/300 of one percent of the aggregate amount of sales transacted by or through any member of a national securities association or transacted on a national securities exchange (other than bonds, debentures, and other evidences of indebtedness and securities futures products). Under Schedule A, Section 8(b), the NASD collects the fee for off-exchange traded securities from members on behalf of the Commission.

On December 21, 2001, Congress passed the Fee Relief Act, which provides for the reduction of Section 31 fees. Specifically, the Fee Relief Act amends Section 31 to reduce the transaction fees collected from 1/300 of one percent to $15 per $1,000,000. This rate went into effect on December 28, 2001.

The Fee Relief Act also provides for an annual adjustment of the fee rate and, in some circumstances, a mid-year adjustment. The SEC will calculate the adjustments in accordance with the Fee Relief Act and publish the revised rates well in advance of any adjustment.

The proposed amendment to Schedule A to the NASD By-Laws conforms the NASD By-Laws to these Congressional changes and allows for future adjustments to be made to the rates as specified by the SEC and in Section 31 of the Act.

2. Statutory Basis

The NASD believes the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 15A(b)(5) of the Act,[8] which requires, among other things, that a national securities association's rules must provide for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees, and other charges among members and issuers and other persons using any facility or system Start Printed Page 46559which the association operates or controls.

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

The NASD does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in 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 were neither solicited nor received.

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

The proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [9] and subparagraph (f)(2) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[10] because the proposal establishes or changes a due, fee, or other charge. At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission may summarily abrogate such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

IV. Solicitation of Comments

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposal 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. Copies of such filing will also be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Association. All submissions should refer to file number SR-NASD-2002-65 and should be submitted by August 5, 2002.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[11]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  See June 26, 2002 letter from T. Grant Callery, NASD, to Katherine England, Assistant Director, Division of Market Regulation (“Division”), SEC, and attachments (“Amendment No. 1”). In Amendment No. 1, the NASD amended the statutory basis for the proposed rule change to reflect its belief that the proposed rule change is consistent with the provisions of Section 15A(b)(5) of the Act. 15 U.S.C. 78o-3(b)(5).

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4.  See June 27, 2002 letter from T. Grant Callery, NASD, to Katherine England, Assistant Director, Division, SEC (“Amendment No. 2”). In Amendment No. 2, the NASD provided new proposed rule language to correct a technical problem with the proposed rule language previously provided. For purposes of calculating the 60-day abrogation period, the Commission considers the period to have begun on June 27, 2002, the date that the NASD filed Amendment No. 2.

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[FR Doc. 02-17683 Filed 7-12-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P