Upon written request, copies available from: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, Washington, DC 20549-0213.
Rule 17Ad-4(b) & (c), OMB Control No. 3235-0341, SEC File No. 270-264.
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 17Ad-4(b) & (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 (“OMB”) for extension and approval.
Rule 17Ad-4(b) & (c) (17 CFR 240.17Ad-4) is used to document when transfer agents are exempt, or no longer exempt, from the minimum performance standards and certain recordkeeping provisions of the Commission's transfer agent rules. Rule 17Ad-4(c) sets forth the conditions under which a registered transfer agent loses its exempt status. Once the conditions for exemption no longer exist, the transfer agent, to keep the appropriate regulatory authority (“ARA”) apprised of its current status, must prepare, and file if the ARA for the transfer agent is the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“BGFRS”) or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), a notice of loss of exempt status under paragraph (c). The transfer agent then cannot claim exempt status under Rule 17Ad-4(b) again until it remains subject to the minimum performance standards for non-exempt transfer agents for six consecutive months. The ARAs use the information contained in the notice to determine whether a registered transfer agent qualifies for the exemption, to determine when a registered transfer agent no longer qualifies for the exemption, and to determine the extent to which that transfer agent is subject to regulation.
The BGFRS receives approximately two notices of exempt status and two notices of loss of exempt status annually. The FDIC also receives approximately two notices of exempt status and two notices of loss of exempt status annually. The Commission and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) do not require transfer agents to file a notice of exempt status or loss of exempt status. Instead, transfer agents whose ARA is the Commission or OCC need only to prepare and maintain these notices. The Commission estimates that approximately ten notices of exempt status and ten notices of loss of exempt status are prepared annually by transfer agents whose ARA is the Commission. We estimate that the transfer agents for whom the OCC is their ARA prepare and maintain approximately five notices of exempt status and five notices of loss of exempt status annually. Thus, a total of approximately thirty-eight notices of exempt status and loss of exempt status are prepared and maintained by transfer agents annually. Of these thirty-eight notices, approximately eight are filed with an ARA. Any additional costs associated with filing such notices would be limited primarily to postage, which would be minimal. Since the Commission estimates that no more than one-half hour is required to prepare each notice, the total annual burden to transfer agents is approximately nineteen hours.
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 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.
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, Director/Chief Information Officer, Securities and Exchange Commission, c/o Remi Pavlik-Simon, 6432 General Green Way, Alexandria, VA 22312 or send an email to: PRA_Mailbox@sec.gov.
Dated: June 25, 2012.
Kevin M. O'Neill,
[FR Doc. 2012-15943 Filed 6-28-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8011-01-P