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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; National Securities Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change to Amend Clearing Fund Requirements and Letters of Credit Collaterization

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble August 21, 2002.

Pursuant to section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),[1] notice is hereby given that on July 16, 2002, National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) and on July 25, 2002, amended the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which items have been prepared primarily by the NSCC. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested parties.

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

The purpose of the proposed rule change is to increase the minimum amount of cash that must be deposited by members, except for Mutual Fund/Insurance Services Members, to satisfy clearing fund requirements and to limit the amount of a deposit that may be collateralized with letters of credit.

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

In its filing with the Commission, NSCC 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 NSCC has prepared summaries, set forth in sections (A), (B), and (C) below, of the most significant aspects of these statements.[2]

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

Under NSCC's current rules, each member, except for Mutual Fund/Insurance Services Members, is required to maintain a minimum contribution to the clearing fund of $10,000. The first $10,000 of a member's contribution must be in cash unless all or a part of the member's contribution is collateralized with letters of credit, in which case the greater of $50,000 or ten percent of the member's contribution up to a maximum of $1,000,000 is required to be in cash. On a peak settlement day, if members only deposit the minimum cash required at any given time, NSCC might only be assured of a limited amount of cash thereby creating the possibility of a liquidity risk at NSCC. Furthermore, because NSCC expects an increase in members' reliance on the Collateral Management System, NSCC also expects an increase in members' requesting the return of excess cash.[3]

To assure NSCC of more cash to meet liquidity needs, NSCC proposes to modify Procedure XV (Clearing Fund Formula and Other Matters) of its Rules and Procedures to require that the first 40% of a member's clearing fund contribution must be in cash unless the member's clearing fund requirement is $10,000 or less in which case the entire contribution must be in cash.[4] NSCC also proposes to amend Rule 4 (Clearing Fund) of its Rules and Procedures to reduce from 70% to 25% the percentage of members' required deposit to the clearing fund that may be collateralized with letters of credit.

Based on NSCC's current calculations, the proposed change in the percentage of cash that must be deposited to the clearing fund will impact approximately 48 member firms. The proposed change reducing the permitted use of letters of credit will affect 21 of the approximately 33 member firms that post such letters. NSCC intends to implement these clearing fund changes no earlier than 30 days after the Commission approves the proposed rule change. Mutual Fund/Insurance Services Members' cash contribution to and letters of credit requirements for the clearing fund will remain unchanged. Start Printed Page 55054

NSCC believes that the proposed rule filing is consistent with section 17A of the Act because it will permit NSCC to have adequate liquidity resources to assure the safeguarding of funds securities for which it is responsible.

(B) Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

NSCC does not believe that the proposed rule change will have an impact on or impose a burden on competition.

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

No written comments relating to the proposed rule change have been solicited or received. NSCC will notify the Commission of any written comments it receives.

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

Within thirty-five 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 ninety 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 the proposed rule change 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 Section, 450 Fifth Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the NSCC. All submissions should refer to File No. SR-NSCC-2002-05 and should be submitted by September 17, 2002.

Start Signature

For the Commission by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[5]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

2.  The Commission has modified the text of the summaries prepared by the NSCC.

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3.  The Collateral Management System (“CMS”) provides automated access to information on members’ clearing fund, margin, and other deposits at NSCC and at other participating clearing entities. CMS allows participants to more efficiently manage their various clearing fund and margin deposits by providing electronic access to consolidated data regarding the underlying collateral held at multiple clearing agencies and allows participating clearing entities the ability to view common members' clearing fund and margin deposits at other clearing entities. See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 36091 (August 10, 1995), 60 FR 42931 (August 17, 1995) [SR-NSCC-95-06] (order approving the establishment of CMS); 40740 (December 3, 1998), 63 FR 67962 (December 9, 1998) [SR-NSCC-98-10] (order approving modification to CMS).

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4.  The current version of Procedure XV (Version 1) is being revised by NSCC and the new version (Version 2) will be applicable to members on a rolling basis. The rule change proposes to amend clearing fund procedures in Procedure XV.A.I.(a) in Version 1 and Procedure XV.II.(A) of Version 2.

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[FR Doc. 02-21776 Filed 8-26-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P