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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Government Securities Clearing Corporation and MBS Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Changes Relating to the Merger of MBS Clearing Corporation into the Government Securities Clearing Corporation to Form the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation

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Start Preamble November 7, 2002.

Pursuant to section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (”Act”),[1] notice is hereby given that on October 7, 2002, the Government Securities Clearing Corporation (“GSCC”) and the MBS Clearing Corporation (”MBSCC”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule changes (File Nos. SR-GSCC-2002-09 and SR-MBSCC-2002-01). On October 31, 2002, and on November 5, 2002, GSCC and MBSCC amended the proposed rule changes. The proposed rule changes are described in Items I, II, and III below, which items have been prepared primarily by GSCC and MBSCC. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule changes from interested parties.

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

The proposed rule changes propose arrangements for the combination of GSCC with MBSCC. The subject proposal provides the following:

  • MBSCC will merge into GSCC.
  • GSCC will be renamed the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (“FICC”).
  • FICC will provide services currently offered by GSCC and MBSCC through separate divisions of FICC (“Government Securities Division” and “Mortgage-Backed Securities Division” collectively referred to as “Divisions”). FICC will adopt the current rules of GSCC, as amended and described herein, as rules of the Government Securities Division and the current rules of MBSCC, as amended and described herein, as rules of the Mortgage-Backed Securities Division.
  • After the merger, current GSCC members will receive the services they currently receive from GSCC from the Government Securities Division, and current MBSCC participants, limited purpose participants, and Electronic Pool Notification (“EPN”) users will receive the services they currently receive from MBSCC from the Mortgage-Backed Securities Division. The membership agreements between GSCC and its members and between MBSCC and its participants, limited purpose participants, and EPN users will be modified to reflect the merger.
  • The rules of GSCC and MBSCC will be modified to reflect that the formerly separate clearing corporations will be separate divisions of FICC.

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

In their filings with the Commission, GSCC and MBSCC included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule changes and discussed any comments they received on the proposed rule changes. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. GSCC and MBSCC have 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 Changes

GSCC and MBSCC became wholly-owned, indirect subsidiaries of The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (“DTCC”) as a result of merger and exchange offer transactions that took place in late 2001 (“DTCC Integration”).[3] GSCC and MBSCC provide clearing and certain ancillary services for government securities and mortgage-backed securities, respectively. The clearing and other services for these different types of fixed-income products have many common elements. The handling of such products by different clearing corporations hinders development of uniform standards for the fixed-income services industry. The combination of GSCC and MBSCC will lead to development of uniform standards for messaging, reporting, netting and settlement mechanisms, standardized settlement practices, and coordinated cash and mark-to-market flows for fixed-income products. Moreover, combining GSCC and MBSCC will help the clearing corporations achieve important membership and risk management goals, such as building a consolidated risk management platform, optimizing cross-margining among various fixed-income products, and establishing uniform membership standards. Furthermore, redundant facilities, services, and operational aspects [4] will be eliminated as a result of the merger thereby reducing the costs of processing transactions in fixed-income products over time.

To effect the merger, MBSCC will be merged into GSCC under New York law. At the time of the merger, GSCC Acquisition Company LLC (“GSCC Parent”), the sole shareholder of GSCC, will pay MBSCC Holding Company, Inc., the sole shareholder of MBSCC, a nominal amount of money in consideration for canceling its shares of capital stock of MBSCC, and shares of capital stock of MBSCC will be cancelled. GSCC will be the surviving corporation of the merger and will be renamed FICC. GSCC Parent will be the sole direct shareholder of FICC. The current Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws of GSCC will be amended to be the Certificate of Incorporation and Start Printed Page 69278Bylaws of FICC. FICC will form the Government Securities Division as the vehicle for delivering the services now provided by GSCC to GSCC members. FICC will form the Mortgage-Backed Securities Division as the vehicle for delivering the services now provided by MBSCC to MBSCC participants, limited purpose participants, and EPN users of MBSCC.

The members and participants receiving services from the Divisions will retain their shareholdings in DTCC and their rights to be shareholders in DTCC that they received during the DTCC Integration. The structure implemented during the DTCC Integration to assure fair representation for, among others, the members of GSCC and participants of MBSCC will also remain in place. After the DTCC shareholders that are members of GSCC begin receiving services from the Government Securities Division and after the DTCC shareholders that are participants of MBSCC begin receiving services from the Mortgage-Backed Securities Division, they will continue to elect persons to serve on the Board of Directors of DTCC (“DTCC Board”) as they did prior to the creation of FICC. The individuals elected to serve on the DTCC board will, in turn, be selected by DTCC to serve as directors of FICC. On a periodic basis to be determined by DTCC pursuant to the DTCC shareholders agreement, DTCC common stock will continue to be reallocated to the shareholders using the services of The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”), Emerging Markets Clearing Corporation (“EMCC”), National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”), and the Divisions of FICC based upon their usage. The members receiving services from the Government Securities Division and the participants receiving services from the Mortgage-Backed Securities Division will continue to have the right but not the obligation to purchase some or all of the DTCC common stock to which they are entitled.

The charters of the two committees formed during the DTCC Integration, the DTCC/DTC/GSCC/MBSCC/NSCC Fixed Income Operations and Planning Committee of DTCC, which includes representatives of members of GSCC and participants of MBSCC, and the GSCC/MBSCC Membership and Risk Management Committee, which is comprised of the representatives of members of GSCC and participants of MBSCC, will be amended to refer to members receiving services from the Government Securities Division and participants receiving services from the Mortgage-Backed Securities Division.

The DTCC/DTC/GSCC/MBSCC/NSCC Fixed Income Operations and Planning Committee will be renamed the DTCC/DTC/FICC/NSCC Fixed Income Operations and Planning Committee. It will continue to advise the DTCC Board and management on its policies and procedures with respect to fixed-income products processed by and services of DTC, EMCC, NSCC, and FICC. The GSCC/MBSCC Membership and Risk Management Committee will be renamed the FICC Membership and Risk Management Committee. It will advise the Board of Directors and management of FICC with respect to membership, credit, and risk matters. Other functions may be assigned to the committees as they are today.

After the merger, FICC will satisfy the fair representation requirement of section 17A of the Act [5] by (i) continuing to give the members receiving services from the Government Securities Division and the participants receiving services from the Mortgage-Backed Securities Division, the right to purchase shares of DTCC common stock on a basis that reflects their use of the services of the Divisions, DTC, EMCC, and NSCC; (ii) continuing to allow members and participants receiving services from the Divisions to take part in the selection of individuals to be directors of DTCC (who will also be directors of FICC, DTC, EMCC, and NSCC) to ensure that all major constituencies in the securities industry will have a voice in the business and affairs of each of these companies; and (iii) utilizing the committee structure described above to ensure that the members and the participants receiving services from the Divisions will have a voice in the operations and affairs of the Divisions.

As a result of the merger, GSCC's Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws will be amended to reflect the change of GSCC's name to FICC. The Rules of MBSCC will be adopted by FICC as part of the merger as the rules of the Mortgage-Backed Securities Division. The Rules of GSCC and MBSCC will be amended to reflect that (i) the Government Securities Division and the Mortgage-Backed Securities Division will be separate Divisions of FICC; (ii) neither Division of FICC will be liable for the obligations of the other Division; and (iii) that the clearing fund and other assets of each Division will not be available to satisfy the obligations of the other Division.

GSCC and MBSCC believe that the proposed rule changes are consistent with the requirements of section 17A of the Act [6] and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to GSCC and MBSCC because they facilitate the prompt and accurate clearance and settlement of transactions in government securities and mortgage-backed securities by ensuring the continued availability of efficient and cost-effective clearing services to GSCC members and MBSCC participants.

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

GSCC and MBSCC do not believe that the proposed rule changes 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 Changes Received From Members, Participants or Others

No written comments relating to the proposed rule changes have been solicited or received.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Changes 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 changes or

(B) institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule changes 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 changes are 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 changes that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule changes between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the Start Printed Page 69279provisions 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 offices of GSCC and MBSCC.

All submissions should refer to File Nos. SR-GSCC-2002-09 and SR-MBSCC-2002-01 and should be submitted by December 6, 2002.

Start Signature

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

J. Lynn Taylor,

Assistant Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

2.  The Commission has modified the text of the summaries prepared by GSCC and MBSCC.

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3.  Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 44988 (October 25, 2001), 66 FR 55222 [SR-MBSCC-2001-01] and 44989 (October 25, 2001), 66 FR 55220 [SR-GSCC-2001-11].

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4.  Operational aspects include such things as separate annual reports, regulatory reports, audits, financial statements, and regulatory examinations.

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5.  15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(C).

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[FR Doc. 02-28989 Filed 11-14-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P