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 August 13, 2009, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB” or “Board”), filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II and III below, which Items have been substantially prepared by the MSRB. The MSRB has designated the proposed rule change as changing a fee applicable to brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act, and Rule 19b-4(f)(2) thereunder, which renders the proposal effective upon filing with the Commission. 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
The MSRB is filing an amendment to Rule A-14, which provides for an annual fee paid by dealers to the MSRB. The MSRB is amending the rule to increase the annual fee paid by dealers from $300 to $500. The text of the proposed rule change is available on the MSRB's Web site at http://www.msrb.org/msrb1/sec.asp, at the MSRB's principal office, 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, the MSRB 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. The MSRB has prepared summaries, set forth in Start Printed Page 43206Sections 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
The purpose of the proposed rule change is to assess reasonable fees necessary to defray the costs and expenses of operating and administering the MSRB. The proposed rule change would partially accomplish this purpose by amending Rule A-14 to increase the annual fee assessed to dealers from $300 to $500 per dealer.
The MSRB currently levies three types of fees that are generally applicable to dealers. Rule A-12 provides for a $100 initial fee paid once by a dealer when it enters the municipal securities business. Rule A-13 provides for an underwriting fee of $.03 per $1000 par value of bonds and $.01 per $1000 par value of notes (with specified exceptions), and a transaction fee of $.005 per $1000 par value of sale transactions of specified securities. Rule A-14 provides for an annual fee of $300 from each dealer who conducts municipal securities activities. The annual fee imposed by Rule A-14 was last increased from $200 to $300 in 2003.
The underwriting and transaction fees in Rule A-13 assess fees that are generally proportionate to a dealer's activity within the industry. However, MSRB's regulatory activities affect all participants in the dealer community and a number of dealers do not participate in traditional municipal securities underwriting activities or are not actively involved in the trading of traditional municipal securities subject to a transaction fee.
The MSRB accordingly is raising the annual fee from $300 to $500, which will result in an increase of approximately $280,000 to the MSRB's revenues in fiscal year 2010. The proposed rule change will enhance the equitable distribution of fees among dealers in the municipal securities market and increase the MSRB's revenues, in order to partially offset a decrease in revenue and increased costs associated with operating market information services and regulating the municipal securities market.
2. Statutory Basis
The MSRB believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of Section 15B(b)(2)(J) of the Act, which requires, in pertinent part, that the MSRB's rules shall:
Provide that each municipal securities broker and each municipal securities dealer shall pay to the Board such reasonable fees and charges as may be necessary or appropriate to defray the costs and expenses of operating and administering the Board. Such rules shall specify the amount of such fees and charges.
The MSRB believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with this provision because the proposed rule change provides for reasonable fees, based on dealer involvement in the municipal securities market that are necessary to defray MSRB expenses.
B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
The MSRB does not believe the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act, since it would apply equally to all brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers.
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
The proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act  and Rule 19b-4(f)(2) thereunder, in that the amendment to Rule A-14 changes a fee applicable to brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers. At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission may summarily abrogate such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.
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-MSRB-2009-13 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-MSRB-2009-13. 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 the MSRB. 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-MSRB-2009-13 and should be submitted on or before September 16, 2009.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.
Florence E. Harmon,
[FR Doc. E9-20534 Filed 8-25-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P