Compliance Corner: Winter 2017

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Compliance Corner is a quarterly electronic newsletter published by the MSRB to support the compliance obligations of brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers (collectively "dealers") and municipal advisors. Compliance Corner provides regulatory updates and resources to facilitate understanding of MSRB rules. 

Supporting Compliance: How Can the MSRB 
Improve its Approach?

As part of its long-term strategic goal, the MSRB is increasing its commitment to assisting regulated entities with understanding the rules of conduct and developing effective compliance procedures. Share your perspective about how the MSRB can most effectively facilitate compliance with its rules to protect investors and municipal entities, and promote market efficiency. Your feedback helps inform the MSRB’s efforts to prioritize, develop and deliver compliance support. The MSRB is seeking public comment on its overall approach to compliance support, including:

  • Stakeholder engagement;
  • Interpretive guidance, advisories, compliance resources and regulatory reminders;
  • Website and email communications; and
  • Coordination with examining authorities.
Request for Comment icon

The purpose of this request is to jumpstart a long-term dialogue with stakeholders on how the MSRB can most effectively facilitate compliance. We welcome preliminary input to help us begin to focus our efforts, as well as continued comments from stakeholders throughout the year. Read the full request for comment and submit your responses by Friday, February 9, 2018

Compliance FAQs

Get answers to commonly asked questions about compliance with MSRB rules.


Q: What are the different types of compliance information the MSRB provides, and how can firms use the information?

A: The MSRB provides ongoing compliance information to supplement understanding of its rules by dealers and municipal advisors. The table below explains the type and intent of various forms of compliance information. Download the printable version.


Types of Compliance Information Table


The MSRB separately engages in various market leadership activities in support of its mission to protect the integrity of the municipal securities market. 


Have a compliance question? Send your inquiry to the MSRB at

Compliance Calendar

Dealers and municipal advisors should note the following key compliance dates and deadlines relevant through the first quarter of calendar year 2018.


Calendar of Events

December 31, 2017: Investor and Municipal Advisory Client Education Notifications

All dealers and municipal advisors must provide a written notification to customers and municipal advisory clients with a statement that they are registered with the MSRB and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); the MSRB’s website address; and a statement as to the availability of the Information for Municipal Securities Investors and/or Information for Municipal Advisory Clients brochures. This notification must be provided once each year. See MSRB Rule G-10.

December 31, 2017: SEC Form MA Verification

Within 90 calendar days after a municipal advisor firm’s fiscal year end (calendar year end for sole proprietors), the municipal advisor firm must file an “annual update,” which is an amendment to the municipal advisor firm’s SEC Form MA, that either confirms the information is accurate or updates responses to any item for which the information is no longer accurate. See SEC Rule § 240.15Ba1-5.

January 1, 2018: Implementation Date for Municipal Advisor Continuing Education Requirements
Amendments to MSRB Rule G-3 on continuing education requirements for municipal advisors have an implementation date of January 1, 2018. Under amended Rule G-3, municipal advisor firms are required to complete a needs analysis, develop a continuing education training plan for their covered persons and deliver applicable training to all covered persons by December 31, 2018. See MSRB Rule G-3.

January 1-25, 2018: Annual MSRB Registration Affirmation
Each January, all dealers and municipal advisors registered with the MSRB are required to affirm or correct their registration information on MSRB Form A-12. See MSRB Rule A-12.

January 29, 2018: Effective Date for Amended Rule G-26 on Customer Account Transfers
The MSRB received approval from the SEC in July 2017 to amend MSRB Rule G-26, on customer account transfers, to modernize the rule and promote a uniform customer account transfer standard for all dealers. The amendments will be effective on January 29, 2018. View the approval notice.

January 31, 2018: Form MA-I Review

Recognizing that the MSRB’s professional fees are calculated on the number of active Forms MA-I a municipal advisor firm has on file with the SEC as of January 31 each year, the MSRB recommends that firms review the accuracy of their Forms MA-I before January 31, 2018. See MSRB Rule A-11.


January 31, 2018: Quarterly Political Contribution Disclosures
All dealers and municipal advisors must submit disclosures to the MSRB, on a quarterly basis, regarding political contributions under MSRB Rule G-37. The quarterly disclosures must be submitted through Form G-37 by January 31, April 30, July 31 and October 31 of each year. See MSRB Rule G-37.

February 9, 2018: Deadline to Submit Comments on MSRB Compliance Initiative

Share your perspective about how the MSRB can most effectively facilitate compliance with its rules to protect investors and municipal entities, and promote market efficiency. The purpose of this request is to jumpstart a long-term dialogue with stakeholders on how the MSRB can most effectively facilitate compliance. Read the request for comment and submit your response by February 9, 2018.

2018: Annual Municipal Advisor Compliance Certification
On an annual basis, the chief executive officer or equivalent officer at each municipal advisor firm must certify that it has in place processes to establish, maintain, review, test and modify written compliance policies and supervisory procedures reasonably designed to achieve compliance with applicable rules. See MSRB Rule G-44.

Upcoming Events

Compliance Workshops

Webinar icon

Mark your calendars. The MSRB recently launched a series of virtual compliance workshops designed for dealers and municipal advisors. The free webcast workshops will follow a question-and-answer format and will feature in-depth discussions about key provisions of MSRB rules. To submit questions in advance of any workshop or to suggest topics for future workshops, email Register for each workshop below.

Compliance Toolbox

New Resources Icon

The MSRB supports regulatory compliance by providing interpretive guidance, checklists, sample templates and other resources about municipal market regulations. The latest resources are listed below and available in the MSRB’s online Compliance Center

Resources labeled “MA” are for municipal advisors; “BD” for dealers; “MA/BD” for all. 

Resources on MSRB Rule G-3 for Municipal Advisors

Resources on MSRB Rules G-10, G-8 and G-9

Annual Compliance Advisories

  • Compliance Advisory for Brokers, Dealers and Municipal Securities Dealers (September 2017)
    This annual publication is intended to assist dealers in assessing their compliance policies and processes, and whether they have a supervisory system that is reasonably designed to achieve compliance with applicable MSRB rules and other securities laws. (BD)

  • Municipal Advisor Compliance Advisory (June 2017)
    This annual publication is intended to assist municipal advisors in assessing their compliance policies and processes, and whether they have a supervisory system that is reasonably designed to achieve compliance with applicable MSRB rules and other securities laws. (MA)

  • On-Demand Webinar: Compliance Advisory for Municipal Advisors (August 2017)
    MSRB staff review the compliance risks identified in the MSRB Compliance Advisory for Municipal Advisors and support regulated entities’ ability to comply with new and existing standards of conduct, including an overview of factors a municipal advisor firm should consider when evaluating the effectiveness of its compliance controls and the need to implement measures to mitigate its exposure to compliance risks. (MA)

Resources for Solicitor Municipal Advisors

Series 50 Exam Resources

Mark-Up Disclosure Resources

Regulatory Roundup

Keep up with current requests for comment, updated regulatory requirements and upcoming rule filings, and learn about opportunities to provide input at various stages of the MSRB’s rulemaking process.  

Coming Soon: The MSRB plans to file with the SEC proposed new MSRB Rule G-40, on advertising by municipal advisors; and proposed amendments to MSRB Rule G-21, on advertising. The amendments to Rule G-21, applicable to dealers, will update and harmonize the rule with certain provisions of the advertising rules of other financial regulators. Upon filing, the information will be available here.

November 16, 2017: MSRB Seeks Input on Compliance Support

November 8, 2017: MSRB to Streamline Series 52 Exam Ahead of Release of FINRA Securities Industry Essentials Exam

November 7, 2017: Amendment Filed with the SEC on Proposed Changes to MSRB Rule G-34, on obtaining CUSIP Numbers, to Modify the Proposed Principles-Based Exception for Certain Sales of Municipal Securities.

October 18, 2017: Federal Register Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness for Proposed Rule Change to MSRB Rule A-11, on Assessments for Municipal Advisor Professionals, to Amend the Annual Municipal Advisor Professional Fee

October 13, 2017: Proposed Rule Change Filed with the SEC to Amend MSRB Form G-45 to Collect Additional Data About the Transactional Fees Primarily Assessed by Programs Established to Implement the ABLE Act

Limited-Time Offer: Access the Full MuniEdPro® Catalog at a Special Introductory Rate

MuniEdPro Logo Blue Square NEW

Through December 31, 2017, dealer and municipal advisor firms can enhance their continuing education programs for municipal finance professionals by purchasing the full MuniEdPro® course catalog at the discounted rate of $100 per person. MuniEdPro’s interactive, online courses may be used to help fulfill the firm-element component of continuing education requirements for regulated entities depending on your firm’s annual written training plan. 

For more information about MuniEdPro® or to inquire about taking advantage of the introductory rate, contact Ritta McLaughlin at or 202-838-1306.