On October 31, 2002, the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (“NASD” or “Association”), through its subsidiary The Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc. (“Nasdaq”), submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) pursuant to section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”)  and Rule 19b-4 thereunder, a proposed rule change regarding the risk management function provided by Nasdaq's Automated Confirmation Transaction Service. The proposed rule change was published for public comment in the Federal Register on December 16, 2002. The Commission received no comments on the proposal. This order approves the proposal.
II. Description of the Proposed Rule Change
Nasdaq proposed changes to NASD Rule 6150 regarding the risk management function provided by Nasdaq's Automated Confirmation Transaction Service (“Act”). Upon approval of the proposed rule change, Nasdaq will permit members to voluntarily utilize the ACT risk management function, provided that they utilize another risk management tool of equal quality and that they and the correspondent firms for whom they clear trades continue to report clearing-eligible trades to ACT in compliance with applicable ACT rules.
The Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with Start Printed Page 3578section 15A of the Act  and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities association. In particular, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with section 15A(b0(6) of the Act  which requires, among other things, that the rules of the association be designed to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in regulating, clearing, settling, processing information with respect to, and facilitating transactions in securities, and in general, to protect investors and the public interest.
The ability of NASD clearing members to adequately assess the risk of their correspondent firms is critical to the protection of investors and the public interest, as required by the Act. Therefore, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act because the proposal seeks to ensure that all NASD clearing members retain the ability to monitor the trading activities and risk exposures of their correspondent firms, either by using the ACT risk management program, or another risk management tool comparable to ACT's risk management program. The proposed rule change also fosters cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in the regulating, clearing, settling, and processing of information with respect to and facilitating transactions in securities because it ensures that NASD clearing members utilize a risk management tool that monitors the acceptable levels of credit and risk exposure for correspondent firms, which helps to ensure the rapid and reliable comparison and settlement of transactions.
It is therefore ordered, pursuant to section 19(b)(2) of the Act, that the proposed rule change (SR-NYSE-2002-57) is approved.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.
Margaret H. McFarland,
6. In approving this rule, the Commission has considered its impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).Back to Citation
[FR Doc. 03-1579 Filed 1-2-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-M