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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; the Boston Stock Exchange, Incorporated; Order Granting Approval to Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Exchange's Minor Rule Violation Plan

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble January 10, 2003.

On May 17, 2002, the Boston Stock Exchange, Inc. (“BSE” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”)[1] a proposed rule change to amend its Minor Rule Violation Plan (“Plan”). The BSE amended the proposed rule change Start Printed Page 2594on August 23, 2002.[2] The BSE again amended the proposal on October 9, 2002.[3] The proposed rule change, as amended, was published for notice and comment in the Federal Register on October 29, 2002.[4] The Commission received no comments on the proposal.

The Commission has reviewed carefully the proposed rule change and finds it is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange [5] and, in particular, the requirements of section 6 of the Act [6] and the rules and regulations thereunder. The Commission finds specifically that the proposed rule change is consistent with section 6(b)(6) of the Act [7] in that it will provide a procedure whereby member organizations can be disciplined appropriately in those instances when a rule violation is minor in nature, but a sanction more serious than an admonition letter is appropriate. Additionally, the Commission finds the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of sections 6(b)(7)[8] and 6(d)(1)[9] of the Act. Section 6(b)(7) requires the rules of an exchange to be in accordance with the provisions of Section 6(d) of the Act, and, in general, to provide a fair procedure for the disciplining of members and persons associated with members. Section 6(d)(1) requires an exchange to bring specific charges, notify such member or person of, and give him an opportunity to defend against, such charges, and keep a record, in any proceeding to determine whether a member or person associated with a member should be disciplined. Finally, the Commission finds the proposal is consistent with Rule 19d-1(c)(2) under the Act,[10] which governs minor rule violation plans.

In approving this proposal, the Commission in no way minimizes the importance of compliance with these rules, and all other rules subject to the imposition of fines under the Plan. The Commission believes that the violation of any self-regulatory organization's rules, as well as Commission rules, is a serious matter. However, in an effort to provide the Exchange with greater flexibility in addressing certain violations, the Plan provides a reasonable means to address rule violations that do not rise to the level of requiring formal disciplinary proceedings. The Commission expects that the BSE will continue to conduct surveillance with due diligence, and make a determination based on its findings whether fines of more or less than the recommended amount are appropriate for violations of rules under the Plan, on a case by case basis, or if a violation requires formal disciplinary action.

It is therefore ordered, pursuant to section 19(b)(2) of the Act,[11] that the proposed rule change (SR-BSE-2002-04), as amended, be, and it hereby is, approved.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[12]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

2.  See August 21, 2002 letter from John A. Boese, Assistant Vice President, Legal and Regulatory, BSE, to Nancy Sanow, Assistant Director, Division of Market Regulation (“Division”), Commission, and attachments (“Amendment No. 1”). Amendment No. 1 completely replaced and superseded the original proposed rule change.

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3.  See October 8, 2002 letter from John A. Boese, Assistant Vice President, Legal and Regulatory, BSE, to Nancy Sanow, Assistant Director, Division, Commission (“Amendment No. 2”). In Amendment No. 2, the BSE added language to set a standard by which violations of certain provisions of the Plan will be determined.

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4.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 46705 (October 22, 2002), 67 FR 66029. The notice contained the text of the proposed rule change, as well as an explanation of the purpose for the proposed rule change.

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5.  In approving this proposed rule change, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

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[FR Doc. 03-1052 Filed 1-16-03; 8:45 am]

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