MSRB Information Notice 2021-01 Designation Information Regarding Mandatory Participation in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Testing
Annually, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) publishes a notice establishing the criteria for designating participants for its mandatory business continuity and disaster recovery testing consistent with Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity (Regulation SCI), which was adopted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The SEC requires the MSRB, as an entity subject to Regulation SCI, to, among other things, require certain brokers, dealers, municipal securities dealers and municipal advisors registered with the MSRB (collectively, “MSRB Registrants”) to participate in the testing of the operation of the MSRB’s business continuity and disaster recovery plans (BC/DR Plans), in the manner and frequency specified by the MSRB, provided that such frequency shall not be less than once every 12 months. To facilitate this Regulation SCI requirement, the MSRB adopted MSRB Rule A-18, on mandatory participation in business continuity and disaster recovery testing, on November 2, 2015.
FINRA is issuing this Notice to help firms review, reconcile and respond to their Final Statements in E-Bill, as well as view the reports that are currently available in CRD/IARD for the annual registration renewal process. The payment deadline is January 22, 2021.
In consultation with the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury Department), FINRA is soliciting comment on potential enhancements to the information reported to FINRA’s TRACE facility regarding transactions in U.S. Treasury securities. Specifically, FINRA is seeking comment on potential changes to TRACE reporting for U.S. Treasury securities that would require: (1) more granular execution timestamps; (2) a shortened trade reporting timeframe; (3) new indicators to identify non-alternative trading system (ATS) trading venues and method of execution, the trading unit within a firm executing a trade, and the method used to clear and settle a transaction; (4) new modifiers to identify additional multi-leg transactions and whether a transaction is priced at the current market; (5) standardized price reporting; and (6) separate reporting of per-transaction ATS fees. FINRA also is soliciting views on whether these proposed changes should apply to all TRACE-eligible securities uniformly, if applicable.
Trading Permit Holders/Members are cautioned that any purchase or sale transaction or series of transactions, coupled with an agreement, arrangement, or understanding, directly or indirectly to reverse such transaction, which is not done for a legitimate economic purpose or is done without subjecting the transactions to market risk, violates Exchange Rules and may be inconsistent with various provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, (the “Act”) and rules thereunder. All transactions must be effected in accordance with applicable trading rules, must be subject to risk of the market, and must be reported for dissemination.
Rule 13.15(g)(6) provides for the imposition of fines for violations of the Exchange's trading conduct and decorum policies under Rule 5.80. The schedules below identify certain conduct deemed to violate those policies and list the applicable fines that may be imposed by the Exchange under Rule 13.15(g)(6). Please be advised that Rule 13.15(g)(6) enables the Exchange, if warranted under the circumstances, to impose for a first offense the fine authorized for a second, third or subsequent offense; to impose for a second offense the fine authorized for a third or subsequent offense; and to impose for a third offense the fine authorized for a subsequent offense.
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, member firms have made rapid and unprecedented changes to their business operations in order to prioritize the health and safety of firm personnel and investors, while maintaining the public’s access to capital markets. These changes include widespread use of remote offices and alternative work arrangements and new and expanded methods of engaging with personnel and investors. Member firms have also used new methods of engaging with FINRA and other regulators and complying with regulatory requirements. For its part, FINRA has taken numerous steps to assist member firms, firm personnel and investors as they navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cboe Exchange, Inc. is issuing this circular to remind Trading Permit Holders of the Exchange’s COVID-19 policy and requirements for accessing the Exchange’s facilities at 400 South LaSalle, including the trading floor.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is amending Regulation National Market System under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to modernize the national market system for the collection, consolidation, and dissemination of information with respect to quotations for and transactions in national market system stocks. Specifically, the Commission is expanding the content of NMS information that is required to be collected, consolidated, and disseminated as part of the national market system under Regulation NMS and is amending the method by which such NMS information is collected, calculated, and disseminated by fostering a competitive environment for the dissemination of NMS information via a decentralized consolidation model with competing consolidators.
Every three to five years, the MSRB engages in a strategic planning exercise to reassess the long-term direction of the organization responsible for safeguarding the integrity of the nearly $4 trillion municipal securities market. The MSRB began its latest strategic planning process in October 2020 by retaining a firm to assist in collecting stakeholder feedback, facilitating workshops and synthesizing input to develop a new vision and mission statement that articulates the organization's strategic goals and priorities for the future. This transparent and inclusive approach will help ensure that the MSRB's next strategic plan benefits from the input and varied perspectives of municipal market stakeholders.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is adopting a new rule under the Investment Company Act of 1940 that will address valuation practices and the role of the board of directors with respect to the fair value of the investments of a registered investment company or business development company. The rule will provide requirements for determining fair value in good faith for purposes of the Act. This determination will involve assessing and managing material risks associated with fair value determinations; selecting, applying, and testing fair value methodologies; and overseeing and evaluating any pricing services used. The rule will permit a fund’s board of directors to designate certain parties to perform the fair value determinations, who will then carry out these functions for some or all of the fund’s investments. This designation will be subject to board oversight and certain reporting and other requirements designed to facilitate the board’s ability effectively to oversee this party’s fair value determinations. The rule will include a specific provision related to the determination of the fair value of investments held by unit investment trusts, which do not have boards of directors. The rule will also define when market quotations are readily available under the Act. The Commission is also adopting a separate rule providing the recordkeeping requirements that will be associated with fair value determinations 2 and is rescinding previously issued guidance on the role of the board of directors in determining fair value and the accounting and auditing of fund investments.
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