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Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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Upon Written Request, Copies Available From: Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, Washington, DC 20549-0213


Rule 17a-5(c), OMB Control No. 3235-0199, SEC File No. 270-199

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) is soliciting comments on the existing collection of information provided for in the following rule: Rule 17a-5(c) (17 CFR 240.17a-5(c)) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.) (“Exchange Act”). The Commission plans to submit this existing collection of information to the Office of Management and Budget for extension and approval.

Rule 17a-5(c) generally requires broker-dealers who carry customer accounts to provide statements of the broker-dealer's financial condition to their customers. Paragraph (5) of Rule 17a-5(c) provides a conditional exemption from this requirement. A broker-dealer that elects to take advantage of the exemption must publish its statements on its Web site in a prescribed manner, and must maintain a toll-free number that customers can call to request a copy of the statements.

The purpose of the Rule is to ensure that customers of broker-dealers are provided with information concerning the financial condition of the firm that may be holding the customers' cash and securities. The Commission, when adopting the Rule in 1972, stated that the goal was to “directly” send a customer essential information so that the customer could “judge whether his broker or dealer is financially sound.” The Commission adopted the Rule in response to the failure of several broker-dealers holding customer funds and securities in the period between 1968 and 1971.

The Commission estimates that approximately 275 broker-dealer respondents carrying approximately 110 million public customer accounts incur an average burden of 138,000 hours per year to comply with the Rule.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number.

Written comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted in writing within 60 days of this publication.

Comments should be directed to: Lewis W. Walker, Acting Director/Chief Information Officer, Securities and Exchange Commission, c/o Shirley Martinson, 6432 General Green Way, Alexandria, VA 22312, or send an e-mail to

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Dated: September 8, 2008.

Florence E. Harmon,

Acting Secretary.

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[FR Doc. E8-21530 Filed 9-15-08; 8:45 am]