Upon Written Request, Copies Available From: Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of FOIA Services, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-2736
Rules 300-304 of Regulation Crowdfunding (Intermediaries).
Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (“PRA”) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) is soliciting comments on the collection of information provided for Rule 17Ab2-1 (17 CFR 240.17Ab2-1) and Form CA-1: Registration of Clearing Agencies (17 CFR 249b.200) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) (15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.). The Commission plans to submit this existing collection Start Printed Page 64384of information to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for extension and approval.
Rules 300-304 of Regulation Crowdfunding enumerate the requirements with which intermediaries must comply to participate in the offer and sale of securities in reliance on Section 4(a)(6) of the Securities Act of 1933 (“Section 4(a)(6)”). Rule 300 requires an intermediary to be registered with the Commission as a broker or as a funding portal and be a member of a registered national securities association.
Rule 301 requires intermediaries to have a reasonable basis for believing that an issuer seeking to offer and sell securities in reliance on Section 4(a)(6) through the intermediary's platform complies with the requirements in Section 4A(b) of the Securities Act and the related requirements in Regulation Crowdfunding. Rule 302 provides that no intermediary or associated person of an intermediary may accept an investment commitment in a transaction involving the offer or sale of securities made in reliance on Section 4(a)(6) until the investor has opened an account with the intermediary and the intermediary has obtained from the investor consent to electronic delivery of materials. Rule 303 requires an intermediary to make publicly available on its platform the information that an issuer of crowdfunding securities is required to provide to potential investors, in a manner that reasonably permits a person accessing the platform to save, download or otherwise store the information, for a minimum of 21 days before any securities are sold in the offering, during which time the intermediary may accept investment commitments. Rule 303 also requires intermediaries to comply with the requirements related to the maintenance and transmission of funds. An intermediary that is a registered broker is required to comply with the requirements of Rule 15c2-4 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) (Transmission or Maintenance of Payments Received in Connection with Underwritings).
An intermediary that is a registered funding portal must direct investors to transmit the money or other consideration directly to a qualified third party that has agreed in writing to hold the funds for the benefit of, and to promptly transmit or return the funds to, the persons entitled thereto in accordance with Regulation Crowdfunding.
The rules also require intermediaries to implement and maintain systems to comply with the information disclosure, communication channels, and investor notification requirements. These requirements include providing disclosure about compensation at account opening (Rule 302), obtaining investor acknowledgements to confirm investor qualifications and review of educational materials (Rule 303), providing investor questionnaires (Rule 303), providing communication channels with third parties and among investors (Rule 303), notifying investors of investment commitments (Rule 303), confirming completed transactions (Rule 303) and confirming or reconfirming offering cancellations (Rule 304).
The Commission staff estimates that there are 62 intermediaries engaged in crowdfunding activity and therefore subject to Rules 300-304. The Commission staff estimates that annualized industry burden would be 15,621 hours to comply with Rules 300-304. This estimate is composed of a one-time burden for new intermediaries to comply with the rules and develop the platform and ongoing burdens associated with maintaining the platform. The Commission staff estimates that the costs associated with complying with Rules 300-304 are estimated to be approximately a total amount of $5,772,327. These costs are composed of a one-time burden for new intermediaries to comply with the rules and develop the platform and ongoing burdens associated with maintaining the platform.
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.
An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information under the PRA unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.
Please direct your written comments to: Charles Riddle, Acting Director/Chief Information Officer, Securities and Exchange Commission, c/o Candace Kenner, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549, or send an email to: PRA_Mailbox@sec.gov.
Dated: December 10, 2018.
Eduardo A. Aleman,
[FR Doc. 2018-27093 Filed 12-13-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8011-01-P