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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; BOX Options Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Regarding Continuing Education for Registered Persons

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Start Preamble August 16, 2013.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),[1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] notice is hereby given that on August 14, 2013, BOX Options Exchange LLC (the “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule from interested persons.

I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

The Exchange proposes to amend BOX Rule 2040 (Restrictions) regarding continuing education for registered persons. The text of the proposed rule change is available from the principal office of the Exchange, at the Commission's Public Reference Room and also on the Exchange's Internet Web site at http://boxexchange.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 self-regulatory organization 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 self-regulatory organization has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections 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

1. Purpose

The Exchange is proposing to amend BOX Rule 2040 (Restrictions) to specify the different Continuing Education Start Printed Page 52225(“CE”) requirements for registered persons based upon their registration with the Exchange. This change will authorize the Exchange to administer different CE programs to differently registered individuals while bringing clarity to Options Participants about what CE requirement they must fulfill. More specifically, the Exchange is proposing to: (1) Adopt the Series 501 Proprietary Trader Continuing Education Program, and (2) enumerate the required Regulatory Element programs.

Background

Currently, Exchange Rule IM-2040-5(b) [3] states that that “each Representative or Principal registered with the Exchange shall complete the Regulatory Element of the Continuing Education requirement”.[4] Exchange Rule IM-2040-5(b) further states that “the content of the Regulatory Element shall be determined by the Exchange and shall be appropriate to either the registered representative or principal status of persons subject to this IM-2040-5”. The Regulatory Element is a computer-based education program administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) to help ensure that registered persons are kept up to date on regulatory, compliance and sales practice matters in the industry. Currently, there are two Regulatory Element programs that BOX recognizes: the S201 Supervisor Program for registered principals and supervisors; and the S101 General Program for Series 7 and all other registered persons. The Exchange is proposing to enumerate these programs in the Exchange Rulebook along with adding the S501 Series 56 Proprietary Trader Continuing Education Program for Series 56 registered persons.

Introduction of the Proprietary Trading Continuing Education Program

The Exchange is proposing to introduce a new CE Program for Proprietary Traders registered with the Exchange who have successfully completed the Proprietary Traders Examination (“Series 56”) and who have no other registrations. Exchange Rule 2020(b)(2) outlines the registration and qualification requirements (including prerequisite examinations) for Limited Representatives—Proprietary Traders. Each person associated with a Participant who is included within the definition of Representative may register as a Limited Representative—Proprietary Trader if his activities in the investment banking or securities business are limited solely to proprietary trading; and he passes the appropriate Qualification Examination for Limited Representative—Proprietary Trader, the Series 56; and he is an associated person of a proprietary trading firm.[5]

The Proprietary Trader Continuing Education Program (S501) is a computer-based education program developed by many of the self-regulatory organizations (“Participating SROs”) [6] to ensure that registered persons are kept current on regulatory, compliance and trading practice matters in the industry. Unlike the other offered CE Programs, the Proprietary Trader Continuing Education Program is not part of the Uniform Continuing Education Program, which is developed and maintained by the Securities Industry Regulatory Council on Continuing Education.

The Proprietary Trader Continuing Education Program will logistically operate as the currently offered CE Programs do. Specifically, registered persons will be required, through CRD, to complete the Regulatory Element of the CE on the second anniversary of the base date and then every three years thereafter. While creating the S501, the Participating SROs believed that the current procedures of the other CE programs work well. The Securities Industry Regulatory Council on Continuing Education has tailored the process of the other CE Programs since its inception to a process that has been successful. Thus, as proposed, the S501 will work in the same manner. In addition, consistency between the different programs will avoid creating confusion amongst the registered persons and FINRA.

The Proprietary Trader Continuing Education Program (S501) is required for those registrants who registered as Proprietary Traders by passing the Series 56 and do not maintain any other registration through CRD.[7] Individuals that are registered under any other registration are required to maintain the CE obligations associated with those registrations.

For example, an individual that is registered as a Proprietary Trader with the Exchange yet continues to maintain a Series 7 registration will be required to continue taking the Series 7 Continuing Education Program (S101).[8] Though such individual may be engaging in the same capacity as one registered as a Proprietary Trader, because the Series 7 Examination is a more comprehensive exam of topics not covered on the Series 56, the Exchange believes that this individual continuing to maintain a Series 7 registration should complete a CE that covers all aspects of his or her registration.

The introduction of the Proprietary Trader Continuing Education Program allows the Exchange to tailor its CE requirements more closely to those registered individuals who are registered as Series 56. More specifically, the Exchange believes allowing individuals engaging in proprietary trading and registered under the Series 56 to complete a separate CE Program than those maintaining a Series 7 registration is appropriate as all individuals have the option of taking either test. In comparison to the Series 7, the Series 56 Examination is more closely tailored to the practice of proprietary trading while the Series 7 is more comprehensive. As such, the Exchange believes a Series 56 CE Program should be tailored as well. At the same time, if an individual would like to remain registered as a Series 7, the Exchange believes it is appropriate they continue to be required to complete the broader CE program. As stated above, though an individual maintaining a Series 7 registration may be engaging in the same capacity as one registered as a Proprietary Trader, because the Series 7 Examination is a Start Printed Page 52226more comprehensive exam of topics not covered on the Series 56, the Exchange believes that such individual that continues to maintain a Series 7 registration should complete a CE that covers all aspects of his or her registration.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposal is consistent with the requirements of Section 6(c) of the Act,[9] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(c)(3) of the Act,[10] which authorizes the Exchange to prescribe standards of training, experience and competence for persons associated with the Exchange Options Participants, in that the proposed rule codifies the existing requirements for Exchange Options Participants and their Representatives. The proposed rule also introduces a new CE program for Series 56 registered persons. The Exchange believes the proposed changes are reasonable and set forth the appropriate CE requirements for an Options Participant's Representative or Principal who is required to register under Exchange Rule IM-2040-5.

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 not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. In this regard, the Exchange notes that the rule change is being proposed in response to a filing recently submitted by the CBOE.[11] The Exchange does not believe that the administrative changes being made nor the introduction of the Proprietary Trader Continuing Education Program (S501) will affect intermarket competition as the Exchange believes all Exchanges offering the same CE requirements will file similar rules addressing those CE Programs. In addition, the Exchange does not believe the proposed changes will affect intramarket competition because all similarly situated registered persons, e.g. registered persons maintaining the same registrations, are required to complete the same CE requirements. For example, all individuals maintaining a Series 7 registration will be required to complete the Series 7 CE while all individuals maintaining a Series 56 registration (and no other registrations) will be required to complete the new Series 56 CE.

C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

The Exchange has neither solicited nor received comments on the proposed rule change.

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

Because the foregoing 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 for 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, the proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [12] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.

The Exchange has requested that the Commission waive the 30-day operative delay. The rule change specifies that proprietary traders who have qualified by taking the Series 56 exam must take the S 501 continuing education program. Waiver of the operative delay will enable those registered persons required to take the S 501 continuing education to do so as soon as the program becomes available, enabling them to comply with their continuing education requirements in a timely manner, and thus is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. Therefore, the Commission designates the proposal operative upon filing.[13]

At any time within 60 days of the filing of this proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend 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. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission will institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be approved or disapproved.

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-BOX-2013-41. This file number should be included on the subject line if email 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 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 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. 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-BOX-2013-41 and should be submitted on or before September 12, 2013.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[14]

Kevin M. O'Neill,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  See Exchange Rule IM-2040-5(b).

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5.  See Exchange Rule 2020(b)(2)(i). Under Exchange Rule 2020(e)(2) a proprietary trading firm is a Participant that trades its own capital, that does not have customers, and that is not a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. In addition, to qualify for this definition, the funds used by a proprietary trading firm must be exclusively firm funds, all trading must be in the firm's accounts, and traders must be owners of, employees of, or contractors to the firm.

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6.  The Participating SROs that have assisted with the development of, and plan to administer, the Series 56 and S501 are the Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated (“CBOE”), C2 Options Exchange, Incorporated (“C2”), the Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc. (“CHX”), the New York Stock Exchange, LLC (“NYSE”), NYSE Arca, Inc. (“Arca”), NYSE Amex, LLC (“Amex”), the NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“NASDAQ”), the National Stock Exchange, Inc. (“NSX”), NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc. (“BX”), NASDAQ OMX PHLX, LLC (“PHLX”), BATS Y-Exchange, Inc. (“BATS Y”), BATS Exchange, Inc. (“BATS”), EDGA Exchange, Inc. (“EDGA”), EDGX Exchange, Inc. (“EDGX”), Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC (“MIAX”) and International Securities Exchange, LLC (“ISE”).

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7.  Any registered person who receives a waiver of the Series 56 under Exchange Rule IM-2040-2, and does not maintain any other registrations in CRD, will be required to complete the Proprietary Trader Continuing Education Program (S501).

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8.  If a registered person has received a Series 56 waiver under Exchange Rule IM-2040-2 but continues to maintain a Series 7 registration (that predates the introduction of the Series 56 on the Exchange) that registered individual will be required to continue taking the Series 7 CE Program (S101). Through CRD, FINRA will recognize the Series 56 as waived while still requiring the Series 7 CE completion.

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11.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 70027 (July 23, 2013), 78 FR 45584 (July 29, 2013) (SR-CBOE-2013-076) (Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Continuing Education).

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

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[FR Doc. 2013-20462 Filed 8-21-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P