MSRB Monthly Update: August 2016


Board Advances Mark-Up Disclosure, Approves Fee Rebate at July Meeting

The Board of Directors of the MSRB is moving forward with a rule proposal that would require municipal securities dealers to disclose on retail customer confirmations the amount of the mark-up in a class of same-day principal transactions. “Providing investors with information about how much it costs to transact in municipal bonds has been a goal of this Board for several years,” said MSRB Chair Nat Singer following the July 2016 Board meeting. The next step for the mark-up proposal is a rule filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that includes guidance for dealers on the establishment of the prevailing market price used to calculate mark-ups.


At the meeting, the Board also approved a $5.5 million rebate distribution of excess reserves to brokers and dealers who paid any underwriting, transaction or technology fees during the first nine months of FY 2016. The excess reserves result from underwriting and trading volumes exceeding budgeted levels as well as careful management of expenses. The rebate will be distributed proportionately in September, relative to the fees paid. 


Read a full summary of the Board meeting

Commentary on Pay-to-Play Regulations

Chair Singer

The MSRB pledged to defend the integrity of public finance against a lawsuit that risks bringing pay-to-play practices back in play at statehouses and city halls across the country. In an op-ed by MSRB Chair Nat Singer in The Bond Buyer, the MSRB makes the case for preserving amendments to MSRB Rule G-37 taking effect this month to ensure that both underwriters and municipal advisors are selected on the basis of merit, not money.

Read the op-ed

Coming Soon: New Continuing Education Courses


Later this month, the MSRB will launch MuniEdPro℠, a suite of high-quality e-learning courses designed specifically for municipal finance professionals. The courses provide relevant and up-to-date educational content for professionals actively engaged in municipal market activities. Each MuniEdPro℠ course allows the learner to apply MSRB rules to real-world scenarios. The interactive courses help municipal finance professionals reinforce their understanding of municipal market activities and the associated regulations. Read more about MuniEdPro℠. See the course catalogue.

On-Demand Webinars

The MSRB recently held a webinar on the application of  MSRB Rule G-37 on political contributions and prohibitions on municipal advisory business to municipal advisors and related amendments to MSRB Rules G-8 and G-9.


The amended pay-to-play rule will go into effect on August 17, 2016. Listen to the on-demand webinar to hear MSRB staff review the new key provisions of MSRB Rule G-37 that extend requirements to municipal advisors related to their political contributions and engagement in municipal advisory business. Click here for CE credit version.

Recent Press Releases


August 2, 2016: MSRB Announces New Officers and Board Members for Fiscal Year 2017


August 1, 2016: MSRB Holds Quarterly Board Meeting

July 14, 2016MSRB and the Municipal Forum of New York Host Municipal Finance Day in Washington, DC

Regulatory Round Up

August 12, 2016: MSRB Delays Reporting of Information by Underwriters of ABLE Programs and Provides Guidance Relating to Municipal Advisors to Sponsors or Trustees of Municipal Fund Securities, including ABLE Programs

August 9, 2016: MSRB Provides Guidance on MSRB Rule G-14, on Reports of Sales or Purchases of Municipal Securities

August 4, 2016: MSRB Files Amendment to Rule G-37 to Clarify its Application to Contributions before August 17, 2016