Upon Written Request, Copies Available From: Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, Washington, DC 20549-0213.
Rule 17f-7, OMB Control No. 3235-0529, SEC File No. 270-470.
Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521) (“Paperwork Reduction Act”), the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) is soliciting comments on the collections of information summarized below. The Commission plans to submit these existing collections of information to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for extension and approval.
Rule 17f-7 (17 CFR 270.17f-7) permits a fund under certain conditions to maintain its foreign assets with an eligible securities depository, which has to meet minimum standards for a depository. The fund or its investment adviser generally determines whether the depository complies with those requirements based on information provided by the fund's primary custodian (a bank that acts as global custodian). The depository custody arrangement also must meet certain conditions. The fund or its adviser must receive from the primary custodian (or its agent) an initial risk analysis of the depository arrangements, and the fund's contract with its primary custodian must state that the custodian will monitor risks and promptly notify the fund or its adviser of material changes in risks. The primary custodian and other custodians also are required to agree to exercise at least reasonable care, prudence, and diligence.
The collection of information requirements in rule 17f-7 are intended to provide workable standards that protect funds from the risks of using foreign securities depositories while assigning appropriate responsibilities to the fund's primary custodian and investment adviser based on their capabilities. The requirement that the foreign securities depository meet specified minimum standards is intended to ensure that the depository is subject to basic safeguards deemed appropriate for all depositories. The requirement that the fund or its adviser must receive from the primary custodian (or its agent) an initial risk analysis of the depository arrangements, and that the fund's contract with its primary custodian must state that the custodian will monitor risks and promptly notify the fund or its adviser of material changes in risks, is intended to provide essential information about custody risks to the fund's investment adviser as necessary for it to approve the continued use of the depository. The requirement that the primary custodian agree to exercise reasonable care is intended to provide assurances that its services and the information it provides will meet an appropriate standard of care.
The staff estimates that each of approximately 938 investment advisers 
will make an average of 8 responses annually under the rule to address depository compliance with minimum requirements, any indemnification or insurance arrangements, and reviews of risk analyses or notifications. The staff estimates each response will take 6 hours, requiring a total of approximately 48 hours for each adviser.
Thus the total annual burden associated with these requirements of the rule is approximately 45,024 hours.
The staff further estimates that during each year, each of approximately 15 global custodians will make an average of 4 responses to analyze custody risks and provide notice of any material changes to custody risk under the rule. The staff estimates that each response will take 260 hours, requiring approximately 1,040 hours annually per global custodian.
Thus the total annual burden associated with these requirements is approximately 15,600 hours.
The staff estimates that the total annual hour burden associated with all collection of information requirements of the rule is therefore 60,624 hours.
The estimate of average burden hours is made solely for the purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act and is not derived from a comprehensive or even a representative survey or study of the costs of Commission rules and forms. Compliance with the collection of information requirements of the rule is necessary to obtain the benefit of relying on the rule's permission for funds to maintain their assets in foreign custodians. The information provided under rule 17f-7 will not be kept confidential. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.
Written comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information has practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the 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.
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, VA 22312; or send an email to: PRA_Mailbox@sec.gov.
Dated: December 24, 2013.
Elizabeth M. Murphy,
[FR Doc. 2013-31241 Filed 12-30-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8011-01-P