MSRB Monthly Update - January 2015

Upcoming Events

MSRB Webinar: 
MSRB Rule G-18 on Best-Execution of Transactions in Municipal Securities

February 5, 2015
3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

The MSRB will review recently approved changes to MSRB Rule G-18 on best execution, which will require municipal securities dealers to seek the most favorable terms reasonably available for their retail customers' transactions. The new rule, effective December 7, 2015, will establish standards for how dealers handle and execute customer orders for municipal securities.

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MSRB Publications
Annual Report

2014 Annual Report

The MSRB recently published its 2014 Annual Report, which highlights important advances in municipal advisor regulation, enhancements to market structure and ongoing efforts to maximize regulatory efficiency. The 2014 Annual Report is now available on

Rule Book

Updated Rule Book

Each quarter, the MSRB publishes an updated PDF of its entire Rule Book. The January 2015 version is now available on

Board Member Search Emphasizes Pricing and Trading Knowledge

The MSRB recently announced that is is accepting applications for its Board of Directors, which helps craft policies on the regulation of financial professionals, market structure, the MSRB’s Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website and other topics. The MSRB Board consists of 11 independent members that are representative of the public, including investors, municipal entities and other non-MSRB regulated individuals. The Board also has 10 members that represent MSRB-regulated entities, including broker dealers, bank dealers and municipal advisors.

Given the MSRB’s current rulemaking and transparency objectives, the MSRB is encouraging individuals with strong knowledge of the pricing and trading of municipal securities, including those with institutional “buy-side” experience, to apply. The MSRB will fill four public and three regulated-entity Board positions for three-year terms that begin October 1, 2015. All qualified individuals from around the country representing diverse organizations and market perspectives should consider applying. MSRB Rule A-3, available on the MSRB’s website,, outlines requirements for all applicants.

To be considered for a position on the MSRB Board of Directors, submit an application by February 20, 2015. Applications are available on the MSRB Board of Directors Application Portal.


MSRB Marks 40th Anniversary

In 2015, the MSRB marks its 40th anniversary as the regulator responsible for protecting investors and the public interest by ensuring a fair and efficient municipal securities market. The MSRB was created by Congress in 1975 and it has fulfilled its mission by regulating municipals securities firms and their professionals, operating market transparency systems and providing education and outreach to the municipal market. Among the MSRB's key accomplishments since 1975 are:

  • Developing regulatory standards of uniform practice, fair practice and transparency for municipal securities dealers 
  • Creating MSRB Rule G-37, the first-of-its kind regulation to curb pay-to-play practices in the financial markets
  • Introducing daily trade reporting for trades between dealers and adding reporting of customer trades
  • Transitioning in 2005 to the collection and dissemination of trade reports in real-time
  • Creating the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website in 2009 to provide for the first time real-time trade data and a vast library of disclosure documents to the public for free
  • Being granted an expanded mission in 2010 to protect municipal entities in addition to investors and the public interest by regulating municipal advisors

In its 40th year, the MSRB is focused on creating a regulatory framework for municipal advisors while continuing to explore opportunities to promote the public interest by enhancing the fairness, efficiency and transparency of the municipal securities market. Read a narrative about the MSRB's history here.


Municipal Financial Disclosures Rise Sharply in 2014

Annual and Audited Financial Disclosures Surge in 2014

Disclosures of annual financial information and operating data and audited financial statements (or CAFRs) from issuers of municipal securities rose sharply in 2014, with nearly 68,000 total disclosures, compared to approximately 55,000 in 2013. Over 10,000 of these disclosures were submitted to the MSRB in December 2014, the most in a single month since the MSRB became the official repository for continuing disclosures. The higher volume may be attributed to underwriters and issuers participating in the Securities Exchange Commission’s Municipal Continuing Disclosure Cooperation initiative. The initiative was announced in March 2014 and provided issuers and underwriters the opportunity to self-report previously unreported disclosure documents in an effort to comply with continuing disclosure obligations specified in SEC Rule 15c2-12.

For data on municipal new issuance, trading activity, continuing disclosures or variable rate resets, visit the MSRB’s EMMA website.  


Regulatory Roundup

Amendments to EMMA Continuing Disclosure Service to Add Asset-Backed Securities Disclosures Under Securities Exchange Act Rule 15Ga-1 Effective January 9, 2015 January 6, 2015

MSRB Seeks Applicants for Board of Directors January 5, 2015