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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Deleting NYSE Rule 405(4) To Correspond With Rule Changes of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 33877 June 8, 2010.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”) [1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] notice is hereby given that on May 17, 2010, New York Stock Exchange LLC (“NYSE” or the “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been substantially prepared by the Exchange. 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 Exchange proposes to delete NYSE Rule 405(4) to correspond with rule changes filed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) and approved by the Commission.[3] The text of the proposed rule change is available at the Exchange, the Commission's Public Reference Room, and http://www.nyse.com.

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 Exchange 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 those statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant parts of such statements.

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

1. Purpose

The purpose of the proposed rule changes is to delete NYSE Rule 405(4) (Diligence as to Accounts) to correspond with rule changes filed by FINRA and approved by the Commission.

Background

On July 30, 2007, FINRA's predecessor, the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (“NASD”), and NYSE Regulation, Inc. (“NYSER”) consolidated their member firm regulation operations into a combined organization, FINRA. Pursuant to Rule 17d-2 under the Act, NYSE, NYSER and FINRA entered into an agreement (the “Agreement”) to reduce regulatory duplication for their members by allocating to FINRA certain regulatory responsibilities for certain NYSE rules and rule interpretations (“FINRA Incorporated NYSE Rules”). NYSE Amex LLC (“NYSE Amex”) became a party to the Agreement effective December 15, 2008.[4]

As part of its effort to reduce regulatory duplication and relieve firms that are members of FINRA, NYSE and NYSE Amex of conflicting or unnecessary regulatory burdens, FINRA is now engaged in the process of reviewing and amending the NASD and FINRA Incorporated NYSE Rules in order to create a consolidated FINRA rulebook.[5]

Proposed Conforming Amendments to NYSE Rules

FINRA recently deleted FINRA Incorporated NYSE Rule 405(4) (Diligence as to Accounts), which required proper supervision of registered representatives handling common sales accounts in accordance with FINRA Incorporated NYSE Rule 342. FINRA Incorporated NYSE Rule 405(4) provided that a member firm could facilitate the isolated liquidation of securities valued at $1,000 or less registered in the name of an individual who did not have an account with the firm, and which were not part of any distribution, through a common sales account set up for the purpose of handling such sales. NYSE Rule 405(4) further provided that, subject to certain requirements, such sales could be made on behalf of the customer without the member having to send a periodic account statement to the customer pursuant to NYSE Rule 409.[6]

In deleting FINRA Incorporated NYSE Rule 405(4), FINRA noted that the rule as written raised potential investor protection concerns and that certain terms in the rule would benefit from additional clarification. FINRA also noted that, to the extent that the deletion of FINRA Incorporated NYSE Rule 405(4) eliminated the exception for member firms from sending periodic account statements to a customer, proposed FINRA Rule 2231, which relates to customer account statements, would authorize FINRA to exempt members from the provisions of FINRA Rule 2231 including the requirement to deliver periodic account statements.[7]

In order to harmonize the NYSE Rules with the approved, consolidated FINRA Rules, the Exchange proposes to delete NYSE Rule 405(4).[8] Notwithstanding the deletion of NYSE Rule 405(4), NYSE Rules 405(1)-(2) will continue to require member firms to properly supervise all registered representatives handling common sales accounts and any transactions executed therein. Finally, the Exchange believes that removing the exemption for member firms from the requirement to send customer account statements for the types of transactions described in NYSE Rule 405(4) will ensure a harmonized standard among NYSE, NYSE Amex, and FINRA, particularly since all NYSE member organizations with customers are also FINRA members and subject to FINRA rules. To the extent that FINRA Rule 2231 is approved, the Exchange will consider proposing to adopt a similar Start Printed Page 33878rule as part of the rule harmonization process.[9]

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule changes are consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act,[10] in general, and further the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[11] in particular, in that they are designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest.

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule changes support the objectives of the Act by providing greater harmonization between NYSE Rules and FINRA Rules (including Common Rules) of similar purpose, resulting in less burdensome and more efficient regulatory compliance for Dual Members.

B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose 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

No written comments were solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

The Exchange has filed the proposed rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act [12] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[13] Because the proposed rule change does not: (i) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) become operative prior to 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, if consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest, the proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act and Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) thereunder.

A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b-4(f)(6) [14] normally does not become operative prior to 30 days after the date of the filing. However, pursuant to Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii),[15] the Commission may designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange has asked the Commission to waive the 30-day operative delay so that the proposal may become operative immediately upon filing. The Commission hereby grants the Exchange's request.[16] The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest because the proposed rule change will maintain the harmonization of NYSE Rules and previously approved FINRA Rules.

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:

Electronic Comments

Paper Comments

  • 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-NYSE-2010-41. 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). Comments are also available for Web site viewing and printing 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. 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-NYSE-2010-41 and should be submitted on or before July 6, 2010.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.17

Florence E. Harmon,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 61808 (March 31, 2010), 75 FR 17456 (April 6, 2010) (order approving SR-FINRA-2010-005).

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4.  See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 56148 (July 26, 2007), 72 FR 42146 (August 1, 2007) (order approving the Agreement); 56147 (July 26, 2007), 72 FR 42166 (August 1, 2007) (SR-NASD-2007-054) (order approving the incorporation of certain NYSE Rules as “Common Rules”); and 60409 (July 30, 2009), 74 FR 39353 (August 6, 2009) (order approving the amended and restated Agreement, adding NYSE Amex LLC as a party). Paragraph 2(b) of the Agreement sets forth procedures regarding proposed changes by FINRA, NYSE or NYSE Amex to the substance of any of the Common Rules.

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5.  FINRA's rulebook currently has three sets of rules: (1) NASD Rules, (2) FINRA Incorporated NYSE Rules, and (3) consolidated FINRA Rules. The FINRA Incorporated NYSE Rules apply only to those members of FINRA that are also members of the NYSE (“Dual Members”), while the consolidated FINRA Rules apply to all FINRA members. For more information about the FINRA rulebook consolidation process, see FINRA Information Notice, March 12, 2008.

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6.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 61808 (March 31, 2010), 75 FR 17456 (April 6, 2010).

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7.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 61808 (March 31, 2010), 75 FR 17456 (April 6, 2010). See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 59921 (May 14, 2009), 74 FR 23912 (May 21, 2009) (SR-FINRA-2009-028) (proposal to adopt FINRA Rule 2231).

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8.  NYSE Amex has submitted a companion rule filing amending its rules in accordance with FINRA's rule changes. See SR-NYSEAmex-2010-48.

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9.  See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 59921 (May 14, 2009), 74 FR 23912 (May 21, 2009).

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12.  15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(iii).

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15.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

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16.  For the purposes only of waiving the 30-day operative delay, the Commission has considered the proposed rule change's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78(c)(f).

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[FR Doc. 2010-14361 Filed 6-14-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P