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Notice

Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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

Extension:

Rule 15c2-11; SEC File No. 270-196; OMB Control No. 3235-0202.

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 Rule 15c2-11, (17 CFR 240.15c2-11), under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.). The Commission plans to submit this existing collection of information to the Office of Management and Budget for extension and approval.

On September 13, 1971, effective December 13, 1971 (see 36 FR 18641, September 18, 1971), the Commission adopted Rule 15c2-11 (“Rule 15c2-11” or “Rule”) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.) to regulate the initiation or resumption of quotations in a quotation medium by a broker-dealer for over-the-counter (“OTC”) securities. The Rule was designed primarily to prevent certain manipulative and fraudulent trading schemes that had arisen in connection with the distribution and trading of unregistered securities issued by shell companies or other companies having outstanding but infrequently traded securities. Subject to certain exceptions, the Rule prohibits brokers-dealers from publishing a quotation for a security, or submitting a quotation for publication, in a quotation medium unless they have reviewed specified information concerning the security and the issuer.

Based on information provided by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”), in the 2010 calendar year, FINRA received approximately 1,798 applications from broker-dealers to initiate or resume publication of covered OTC securities in the OTC Bulletin Board and/or the Pink Sheets or other quotation mediums. We estimate that (i) 41% of the covered OTC securities were issued by reporting issuers, while the other 59% were issued by non-reporting issuers, and (ii) it will take a broker-dealer about 4 hours to review, record and retain the information pertaining to a reporting issuer, and about 8 hours to review, record and retain the information pertaining to a non-reporting issuer.

We therefore estimate that broker-dealers who initiate or resume publication of quotations for covered OTC securities of reporting issuers will require 2,949 hours (1,798 × 41% × 4) to review, record and retain the information required by the Rule. We estimate that broker-dealers who initiate or resume publication of quotations for covered OTC securities of non-reporting issuers will require 8,487 hours (1,798 × 59% × 8) to review, record and retain the information required by the Rule. Thus, we estimate the total annual burden hours for broker-dealers to initiate or resume publication of quotations of covered OTC securities to be 11,436 hours (2,949 + 8,487). The Commission believes that these 11,436 hours would be completed by staff working at a rate of $40 per hour.[1]

Subject to certain exceptions, the Rule prohibits brokers-dealers from publishing a quotation for a security, or submitting a quotation for publication, in a quotation medium unless they have reviewed specified information concerning the security and the issuer. The broker-dealer must also make the information reasonably available upon request to any person expressing an interest in a proposed transaction in the security with such broker or dealer. The collection of information that is submitted to FINRA for review and approval is currently not available to the public from FINRA.

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 estimates of the burden of the proposed Start Printed Page 18265collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information on respondents; 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.

The Commission may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

Please direct your written comments to: Thomas Bayer, Chief Information Officer, Securities and Exchange Commission, c/o Remi Pavlik-Simon, 6432 General Green Way, Alexandria, Virginia 22312 or send an e-mail to: PRA_Mailbox@sec.gov.

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Dated: March 28, 2011.

Cathy H. Ahn,

Deputy Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  See Appendix C, SIFMA Office Salaries Data—Sept. 2007 for General Clerk national hourly rate.

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[FR Doc. 2011-7689 Filed 3-31-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P