Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”)  and Rule 19b-4 thereunder, notice is hereby given that on March 26, 2009, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) (f/k/a National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (“NASD”)) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been substantially prepared by FINRA. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.
I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change
FINRA is proposing to adopt Incorporated NYSE Rule 406 (Designation of Accounts) as a FINRA rule in the consolidated FINRA rulebook with minor changes. The proposed rule change would renumber Incorporated NYSE Rule 406 as FINRA Rule 3250 in the consolidated FINRA rulebook.
The text of the proposed rule change is available on FINRA's Web site at http://www.finra.org, at the principal office of FINRA and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.
II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
In its filing with the Commission, FINRA 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. FINRA has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.
A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
As part of the process of developing a new consolidated rulebook (“Consolidated FINRA Rulebook”), FINRA is proposing to adopt Incorporated NYSE Rule 406 into the Consolidated FINRA Rulebook with minor changes, discussed below. The proposed rule change would renumber Incorporated NYSE Rule 406 as FINRA Rule 3250. Incorporated NYSE Rule 406 provides that no member organization shall carry an account on its books in the name of a person other than that of the customer, except that an account may be designated by a number or symbol, provided the member has on file a written statement signed by the customer attesting the ownership of such account. In effect, this rule establishes a general requirement that a member must hold each customer account in the customer's name, except that a member may identify a customer's account with a number or symbol, as long as the member maintains documentation identifying the customer.
Currently, Incorporated NYSE Rule 406 applies only to Dual Members (i.e., Start Printed Page 17706members of both FINRA and NYSE), and NYSE has enforced the rule to address, among other things, sales practice abuses such as co-mingling of funds, failure to disclose ownership interests in accounts and unauthorized trading. FINRA proposes to adopt Incorporated NYSE Rule 406 as FINRA Rule 3250 as it believes that this rule will continue to be an important enforcement tool and should be expanded to apply to the entire FINRA membership. FINRA further notes that the Rule may provide members' customers with a level of anonymity within the member and with certain external relationships that they find useful, while still allowing customers' identities to be clearly known to members and available to regulators. Consequently, FINRA proposes to adopt Incorporated NYSE Rule 406 as FINRA Rule 3250 with minor changes to replace references to “member organization” or “organization” with the term “member.”
As noted above, FINRA will announce the implementation date of the proposed rule change in a Regulatory Notice to be published no later than 90 days following Commission approval.
2. Statutory Basis
FINRA believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the provisions of Section 15A(b)(6) of the Act, which requires, among other things, that FINRA rules must be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. FINRA believes the proposed rule change will provide FINRA with an important tool to further ensure that FINRA members appropriately designate each customer account, while also providing a reasonable means of permitting customers to maintain a certain level of anonymity, subject to appropriate documentation identifying the owner.
B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
FINRA does not believe that the proposed rule change 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 Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others
Written comments were neither solicited nor received.
III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action
Within 35 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 90 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. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:
- Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or
- Send an e-mail to email@example.com. Please include File Number SR-FINRA-2009-017 on the subject line.
- Send paper comments in triplicate to Elizabeth M. Murphy, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.
All submissions should refer to File Number SR-FINRA-2009-017. This file number should be included on the subject line if e-mail is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). 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 Room, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of FINRA. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-FINRA-2009-017 and should be submitted on or before May 7, 2009.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.
Florence E. Harmon,
3. The current FINRA rulebook consists of (1) FINRA Rules; (2) NASD Rules; and (3) rules incorporated from NYSE (“Incorporated NYSE Rules”) (together, the NASD Rules and Incorporated NYSE Rules are referred to as the “Transitional Rulebook”). While the NASD Rules generally apply to all FINRA members, the Incorporated NYSE Rules apply only to those members of FINRA that are also members of the NYSE (“Dual Members”). The FINRA Rules apply to all FINRA members, unless such rules have a more limited application by their terms. For more information about the rulebook consolidation process, see FINRA Information Notice, March 12, 2008 (Rulebook Consolidation Process).Back to Citation
4. Members are subject to additional requirements regarding customer accounts. See, e.g., Rule 17a-3(a)(9) under the Act (requiring records indicating the name and address of the beneficial owner of each cash and margin customer account). 17 CFR 240.17a-3(a)(9).Back to Citation
5. See, e.g., Robert S. Bartek, Exchange Hearing Panel Decision 73-60 (August 28, 1973); Jeffrey Alan Schultz, Exchange Hearing Panel Decision 82-23 (March 18, 1982); Kery Shane Hutner, Exchange Hearing Panel Decision 02-27 (January 31, 2002). See also NYSE Information Memo 78-80, Members' Accounts and Initiating Orders on the NYSE Floor (November 10, 1978) (addressing, among other things, NYSE Rule 406(1), now Rule 406).Back to Citation
[FR Doc. E9-8655 Filed 4-15-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P