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Notice

Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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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 17a-5; SEC File No. 270-155, OMB Control No. 3235-0123.

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 17a-5 (17 CFR 240.17a-5), 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 (“OMB”) for extension and approval.

Rule 17a-5 is the basic financial reporting rule for brokers and dealers.[1] The Rule requires the filing of Form X-17A-5, the Financial and Operational Combined Uniform Single Report (“FOCUS Report”), which was the result of years of study and comments by representatives of the securities industry through advisory committees and through the normal rule proposal methods. The FOCUS Report was designed to eliminate the overlapping regulatory reports required by various self-regulatory organizations and the Commission and to reduce reporting burdens as much as possible. The Rule also requires the filing of an annual audited report of financial statements.

The FOCUS Report consists of: (1) Part I, which is a monthly report that must be filed by brokers or dealers that clear transactions or carry customer securities; (2) one of three alternative quarterly reports: Part II, which must be Start Printed Page 12109filed by brokers or dealers that clear transactions or carry customer securities; Part IIA, which must be filed by brokers or dealers that do not clear transactions or carry customer securities; and Part IIB, which must be filed by specialized broker-dealers registered with the Commission as OTC derivatives dealers; [2] (3) supplemental schedules, which must be filed annually; and (4) a facing page, which must be filed with the annual audited report of financial statements. Under the Rule, a broker or dealer that computes certain of its capital charges in accordance with Appendix E to Exchange Act Rule 15c3-1 must file additional monthly, quarterly, and annual reports with the Commission.

The variation in the size and complexity of brokers and dealers subject to Rule 17a-5 and the differences in the FOCUS Report forms that must be filed under the Rule make it difficult to calculate the cost of compliance. However, we estimate that, on average, each report will require approximately 12 hours. At year-end 2011, the Commission estimates that there were approximately 4,802 brokers or dealers, and that of those firms there were approximately 513 brokers or dealers that clear transactions or carry customer securities. The Commission therefore estimates that approximately 513 firms filed monthly reports, approximately 4,134 firms filed quarterly reports, and approximately 63 firms filed annual reports. In addition, approximately 4,650 firms filed annual audited reports. As a result, there were approximately 27,405 total annual responses ((513 × 12) + (4,134 × 4) + 63 + 4,650 = 27,405). This results in an estimated annual burden of 328,860 hours (27,405 annual responses × 12 hours = 328,860).

In addition, we estimate that approximately 9 brokers or dealers will elect to use Appendix E to Rule 15c3-1 to compute certain of their capital charges (as of September 2012, six brokers or dealers have elected to use Appendix E). We estimate that the average amount of time necessary to prepare and file the additional monthly reports that must be filed by these firms is about 4 hours per month, or approximately 48 hours per year; the average amount of time necessary to prepare and file the additional quarterly reports is about 8 hours per quarter, or approximately 32 hours per year; and the average amount of time necessary to prepare and file the additional supplemental reports with the annual audit required is approximately 40 hours per year. Consequently, we estimate that the total additional annual burden for these 9 brokers or dealers is approximately 1,080 hours ((48 + 32 + 40) × 9 = 1,080).

The Commission therefore estimates that the total annual burden under Rule 17a-5 is approximately 330,000 hours (328,860 + 1,080 = 329,940, rounded to 330,000).

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 estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information 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 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, Virginia 22312 or send an email to PRA_Mailbox@sec.gov.

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Dated: February 15, 2013.

Kevin M. O'Neill,

Deputy Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  Rule 17a-5(c) requires a broker or dealer to furnish certain of its financial information to customers and is subject to a separate PRA filing (OMB Control Number 3235-0199).

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2.  Part IIB of Form X-17A-5 must be filed by OTC derivatives dealers under Exchange Act Rule 17a-12 and is subject to a separate PRA filing (OMB Control Number 3235-0498).

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[FR Doc. 2013-03972 Filed 2-20-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P