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Self-Regulatory Organizations; Government Securities Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Revision of the Comparison-Only Membership Application Approval Process

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Start Preamble July 23, 2003.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),[1] notice is hereby given that on May 22, 2002, Government Securities Clearing Corporation (“GSCC”) [2] filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) and on June 25, 2002, amended the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which items have been prepared primarily by GSCC. 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 proposed rule change would allow GSCC's management to approve or reject comparison-only membership applications.

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

In its filing with the Commission, GSCC 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. GSCC has prepared summaries, set forth in sections (A), (B), Start Printed Page 44826and (C) below, of the most significant aspects of these statements.[3]

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

In the beginning of 2002, GSCC implemented various rule changes that effectuated GSCC's new governance structure resulting from the integration of GSCC with The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation.[4] As part of the new structure, the newly formed GSCC/MBSCC Membership and Risk Management Committee (“Committee”) was given the authority to approve or reject comparison-only and netting membership applications. Upon further review, GSCC has determined that it would be more appropriate for GSCC management to approve or reject applications for comparison-only membership.[5]

The proposed rule change will permit GSCC to effectively balance the interests involved in the membership approval process, including the need for a prudent review of membership applicants as well as the need to admit members on a timely basis. This goal is most appropriately met by having management approve GSCC comparison-only membership applicants.[6] GSCC believes that, given the difference in the level of risk posed by the two types of GSCC membership applicants, only applications to become members of GSCC's netting service should require the Committee's review and approval.[7]

GSCC will activate membership for qualified applicants upon completion of the requisite financial and/or other operational reviews and upon receipt of all membership documentation as is provided in GSCC's rules. In addition, management will provide the Committee with a listing of comparison-only firms being considered for approval by management prior to activating any firm's comparison-only membership.

Consistent with these changes and in order to clarify relevant terms for members, GSCC is also expanding the current definition of “Corporation” in its Rules. Going forward, “Corporation” will also mean “Management,” unless otherwise indicated, and these terms will be used interchangeably.

The proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of Section 17A of the Act [8] and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to GSCC because it involves a change in GSCC's governance structure that will streamline GSCC's membership application process. In doing so, it will allow GSCC to prudently and more appropriately assess the risk posed by a particular applicant and will allow GSCC to review and approve applicants in a timelier manner.

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

GSCC does not believe that the proposed rule change will have any impact or impose any burden on competition.

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

Written comments relating to the proposed rule change have not yet been solicited or received. GSCC will notify the Commission of any written comments received by GSCC.

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. Comments may also be submitted electronically at the following e-mail address: All comment letters should refer to File No. SR-GSCC-2002-03. This file number should be included on the subject line if e-mail is used. To help us process and review comments more efficiently, comments should be sent in hardcopy or by e-mail but not by both methods. 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 GSCC. All submissions should refer to File No. SR-GSCC-2002-03 and should be submitted by August 20, 2003.

Start Signature

For the Commission by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[9]

J. Lynn Taylor,

Assistant Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble


2.  On January 1, 2003, MBS Clearing Corporation (“MBSCC”) was merged into the Government Securities Clearing Corporation (“GSCC”) under New York law, and GSCC was renamed the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (“FICC”). The functions previously performed by GSCC are now performed by the Government Securities Division (“GSD”) of FICC, and the functions previously performed by MBSCC are now performed by the Mortgage-Backed Securities Division (“MBSD”) of FICC. The GSD succeeded to the GSCC proposed rule change upon the merger of MBSCC and GSCC. To avoid confusion and maintain consistency with the Notice, in this Order, we will continue to refer to GSCC instead of the GSD of FICC. Securities Exchange Act Release No. 47015 (December 17, 2002), 67 FR 78531 [File Nos. SR-GSCC-2002-09 and SR-MBSCC-2002-01].

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3.  The Commission has modified the text of the summaries prepared by GSCC.

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4.  Securities Exchange Act Release No. 45378 (January 31, 2002), 67 FR 6064 [File No. SR-GSCC-2001-13].

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5.  The Committee voted to delegate the authority to approve comparison-only membership applicants to management during its March 7, 2002 meeting. The purpose of this rule filing is to allow GSCC's to implement this change. The term “comparison-only member” means a member that is a member only of the comparison system.

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6.  This is consistent with the process currently employed by the National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”). The President of NSCC, or a Managing Director of NSCC Risk Management, may authorize a Vice President of NSCC Risk Management to approve non-guaranteed service applicants that meet membership requirements. The NSCC Membership and Risk Management Committee receives a list showing the name of each approved non-guaranteed service member.

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7.  GSCC's netting service provides for GSCC's guarantee of settlement. GSCC's comparison-only service does not do so.

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[FR Doc. 03-19329 Filed 7-29-03; 8:45 am]