MSRB Monthly Update: September 2017

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Uniform Application of Professional Qualification Standards Supports Market Integrity

This month marks a milestone for regulation of the municipal securities market with the uniform application of MSRB professional qualification standards to both municipal securities dealers and municipal advisors. 


Municipal securities dealers have long been subject to an MSRB requirement that an individual pass a qualification exam before the individual can engage in certain municipal market activities. In 2016, the MSRB developed a similar requirement for municipal advisors, launching the Municipal Advisor Representative Qualification Examination (Series 50) and giving individuals a one-year grace period to pass the new exam. The grace period ends on September 12, 2017, after which only those individuals who have passed the Series 50 are permitted to engage in municipal advisory activities. 


The MSRB's professional qualification standards are designed to ensure that prior to engaging in municipal advisory activities, or transacting in or underwriting municipal securities, financial professionals have a sound understanding of the applicable regulations and market practices. The uniform application of professional qualification standards serves to protect investors, municipal issuers and other municipal market participants, and fosters continued confidence in the integrity of the municipal securities market.


Fiscal Year 2018 is Around the Corner

MSRB Executive Director Lynnette Kelly

The start of an organization’s new fiscal year is not necessarily meaningful for external constituents. However at the MSRB, the addition of new Board members each October and the start of a new operating plan give our fiscal-year start something of a “new school year” feel. This year, we will begin another annual tradition—the publication of budget highlights for the new fiscal year that provide an overview of the MSRB’s top priorities. Publication of our budget overview supports my commitment to exceptional corporate transparency and helps demonstrate the strict financial management of the organization. Ensuring the MSRB’s financial sustainability is a top organizational priority. As we head into our 43rd year protecting the municipal securities market, we must ensure that we are able to fulfill our statutory obligations for many years to come. Rigorous annual budget planning is just one of the ways we do that and I am excited to share with you next month the results of that effort. Read about the MSRB's financial oversight on page 12 of our most recent annual report.

Latest MuniEdPro® Course Covers Standards of Conduct for Non-Solicitor Municipal Advisors

G-42 MEP course

Municipal advisors can enhance their knowledge of their regulatory obligations under MSRB Rule G-42 with the latest MuniEdPro® course, "Standards of Conduct: The Duties of Non-Solicitor Municipal Advisors." The course depicts real-world scenarios that municipal advisors may encounter when providing advice with respect to municipal financial products or the issuance of municipal securities. Log into MuniEdPro® today and challenge yourself to make informed choices in compliance with Rule G-42.


For more information about MuniEdPro® or to inquire about subscription options, contact Ritta McLaughlin at or 202-838-1306.


Previously Unavailable Market-Wide Statistics Now on EMMA® 

In support of its long-term effort to improve access to tools and information that help municipal market participants analyze industry trends, the MSRB this week unveiled market-wide trading statistics on its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website that have not previously been publicly available. The new data include a daily state-by-state view of municipal bond trading activity and the most actively traded municipal securities and bond issuers. The data presentation is dynamic, allowing users to customize their results based on date range, geographic location, tax status of bonds and type of transaction. Register for a webcast demonstration with MSRB staff on September 21, 2017, to explore the market-wide statistics.

Calendar of Events

Upcoming Events

Amendments to MSRB Rule G-3 on Professional Qualification Standards for Municipal Advisors 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

3:00 - 4:00 p.m. ET

During this free webinar, MSRB staff will review amended MSRB Rule G-3, which requires municipal advisors to develop a continuing education program for covered persons, and for every covered person of a municipal advisor to participate in continuing education training. Amended MSRB Rule G-3 has an implementation date of January 1, 2018.


Recent Press Releases

September 7, 2017: MSRB Begins Daily Release of Previously Unavailable Municipal Market Statistics

August 22, 2017: MSRB Seeks Comment on Refining Data Collected about 529 Plans and ABLE Programs

August 21, 2017: MSRB Amends Municipal Fund Security Advertising Requirements



Regulatory Roundup

August 30, 2017:  SEC Filing for Proposed Rule Change to Amend MSRB Rule G-34, on CUSIP Numbers, New Issue, and Market Information Requirements

August 24, 2017: Federal Register Notice of Approval for Proposed Rule Change to Amend Rule G-21(e), on Municipal Fund Security Product Advertisements

August 22, 2017: Request for Comment on Draft Amendments to MSRB Form G-45 under Rule G-45, on Reporting of Information on Municipal Fund Securities

August 21, 2017: SEC Approves Amendments to the MSRB’s Rule on Municipal Fund Security Product Advertisements

August 18, 2017: SEC Approval Order for Proposed Rule Change to Amend Rule G-21(e) on Municipal Fund Security Product Advertisements

August 9, 2017: MSRB Response to Comments Received from Federal Register Notice of Filing for Proposed Rule Change to Amend Rule G-21(e), on Municipal Fund Security Product Advertisements

August 9, 2017: Amendment No. 1 to Proposed Rule Change to Amend Rule G-21(e), on Municipal Fund Security Product Advertisements