MSRB Rule Changes: Series 51, 52, and 53

The MSRB has added two new rules effective July 9, 2014. They are Rule G-47 (Time of Trade Disclosure) and Rule G-48 (Transactions with Sophisticated Municipal Market Professionals). MSRB has also amended Rule G-3 (Classification of Principals and Representatives) and Rule G-19 (Suitability), effective September 30, 2014. These four changes coordinate MSRB rules with FINRA rules and remove regulatory redundancies. Continue reading

The MSRB has added two new rules effective July 9, 2014. They are Rule G-47 (Time of Trade Disclosure) and Rule G-48 (Transactions with Sophisticated Municipal Market Professionals). MSRB has also amended Rule G-3 (Classification of Principals and Representatives) and Rule G-19 (Suitability), effective September 30, 2014. These four changes coordinate MSRB rules with FINRA rules and remove regulatory redundancies.

MSRB Rule G-3.  MSRB narrows the definition of Limited Representative – Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products (Series 6). Under FINRA rules, a Series 6 license only allows individuals to be involved in the purchase and sale of funds and variable products. The new MSRB rule will now be consistent with the FINRA rules. Representatives who want to participate in broader activities, such as underwriting, research and investment advice must now take and pass the Municipal Securities Representative Qualification Examination (Series 52).

Amended Rule G-3 also eliminates the designation of Municipal Securities Financial and Operations Principal (FINOP). Since municipal securities dealers that require a FINOP are also FINRA members and since FINRA has similar FINOP requirements, Rule G-3 eliminates the redundancy by removing its separate FINOP designation.

MSRB Rule G-19.  MSRB’s amended suitability rule conforms to FINRA’s own recent changes to its rule. Specifically, the amended rule recognizes three components to a broker-dealer’s suitability obligations. First, a broker-dealer must understand the complexity and risks of a security or investment strategy and consciously decide its suitability for at least some investors. Second, it must reasonably believe that a recommendation is suitable for a particular customer based on the customer’s personal and investment profile. Third, when a broker-dealer has control over a customer account, it must reasonably believe that a series of recommended securities transactions are not excessive.

MSRB Rule G-47.  This new rule requires broker-dealers to disclose to its customers all material information about a transaction and the security at or prior to the time of trade. Information is considered “material” if a reasonable investor is likely to consider it important in making an investment decision. Disclosures must include a complete description of the security and any facts important to assessing the potential risks of the investment.

MSRB Rule G-48.  Rule G-48 exempts broker-dealers from any obligation to disclose material information to customers who are sophisticated municipal market professionals (SMMPSs). It also exempts broker-dealers from informing an SMMP that the price of a secondary market agency transaction is fair and reasonable, as long as the broker-dealer has not recommended the transaction or exercised discretion as to its execution. Finally, Rule G-48 exempts broker-dealers from the obligation to perform a customer-specific suitability analysis for an SMMP.

Study Question of the Week: August 14, 2014 Edition

This week’s study question from the Solomon Online Exam Simulator question database is now available. Relevant to the Series 7, 51, 52, 53, 62, 82, and 99. –ANSWER POSTED– Continue reading

This week’s study question from the Solomon Online Exam Simulator question database is now available.

Study ? of the Week

Question (Relevant to the Series 7, Series 51, Series 52, Series 53Series 62, Series 82, and Series 99): 

When money is regularly put into an escrow account in order to redeem the bonds before maturity this is called:

Answers: 

A. A sinking fund redemption

B. Advance refunding

C. Defeasement

D. A make whole provision

Correct Answer: A. A sinking fund redemption

Rationale: A sinking fund redemption requires the issuer to set money aside regularly in a reserve account for the redemption of the bonds before maturity.

Weekly study questions are from Solomon’s industry-leading Online Exam Simulator.

Study Question of the Week: July 9, 2014 Edition

This week’s study question from the Solomon Online Exam Simulator question database is now available. Relevant to the Series 7, 51, 52, 53, 62, 79, 82, and 99. –ANSWER POSTED– Continue reading

This week’s study question from the Solomon Online Exam Simulator question database is now available.

Study ? of the Week

Question (Relevant to the Series 7Series 51Series 52Series 53, Series 62, Series 79, Series 82, and Series 99): 

When new bonds are issued with the purpose of using the proceeds to pay off older bonds, it is called?

Answers:

A. Refunding

B. Defeasement

C. A sinking fund redemption

D. A bond SWAP

Correct Answer: A. Refunding

Rationale: A bond refunding is the replacement of existing bonds with new “refunding“ bonds. The issuer of refunding bonds often seeks to lower its interest payments by paying off its previously issued (refunded) bonds with newly issued bonds that pay interest at a lower rate. Another reason to refund existing bonds may be to release the issuer from legal covenants or restrictions in the original indenture.

Weekly study questions are from Solomon’s industry-leading Online Exam Simulator.

Study Question of the Week: July 2, 2014 Edition

This week’s study question from the Solomon Online Exam Simulator question database is now available. Relevant to the Series 7, Series 51, Series 52, Series 53, and Series 62. –ANSWER POSTED– Continue reading

This week’s study question from the Solomon Online Exam Simulator question database is now available.

Study ? of the Week

Question (Relevant to the Series 7Series 51Series 52Series 53, and Series 62): 

A flat bond is a bond that:

Answers:

A. Has a fixed interest rate

B. Is quoted in terms of its yield-to-maturity

C. Has no call provision

D. Does not trade with accrued interest

Correct Answer: D. Does not trade with accrued interest

Rationale: Bonds are quoted at a flat price, also called a clean price, meaning that accrued interest is not factored into the quotation. Bonds generally trade at a “dirty” price, with accrued interest factored in. Sometimes bonds trade flat, however, meaning that the bond carries no accrued interest. Bonds in default and zero coupon bonds are two examples of bonds that trade flat.

Weekly study questions are from Solomon’s industry-leading Online Exam Simulator.

Personal Finances and Your Registration

Customers sometimes ask whether a poor credit rating or a personal bankruptcy could negatively impact their ability to get licensed to work in the securities industry. Here is some information about how your personal financial situation may affect your registration process … Continue reading

Customers sometimes ask whether a poor credit rating or a personal bankruptcy could negatively impact their ability to get licensed to work in the securities industry. Here  is some information about how your personal financial situation may affect your registration process.

First an important caveat: this is not legal advice and, as an education company, Solomon Exam Prep provides this information for educational purposes only. Please consult with a compliance professional to identify and address any issues regarding your situation or your state’s regulations. Always check with your compliance department regarding compliance issues.

1. Be sure to disclose relevant information on Form U4.

Form U4 is the registration form for broker-dealer agents and investment adviser representatives. It asks several questions about your history, including some on your finances. Such questions include whether you or a company you controlled have been subject to a bankruptcy within the past ten years. Answer these questions completely and honestly! Failing to disclose this information could jeopardize your ability to work in the securities industry–it could result in a statutory disqualification.

2. You may be denied registration based on insolvency.

If the state securities administrator discovers that you are insolvent (meaning that you can’t pay your debts), they may deny your registration if they feel that it is in the public’s interest.

3. You may be denied registration based on your financial history.

FINRA may deny your registration based your answers to the questions on Form U4. This means that FINRA could deny your registration if:
-you or a company you controlled have been subject to a bankruptcy within the past ten years
-a bonding company denied, paid out on, or revoked a bond for you
-you have unpaid legal judgments or liens

4. You may be denied registration for having a poor credit history.

Having a poor credit history could result in your registration being denied. Regulators may require applicants to submit balance sheets, and the information on such sheets will be factored into the overall decision of whether to approve or deny your application.

5. Your application for registration will not be automatically accepted if you have financial issues that are required to be reported on Form U4.

If you report financial problems on your application, it will not be automatically accepted. Instead, it will be transferred to a manual review process.

6. Once you are registered, you may lose your registration due to poor credit, bankruptcy, or insolvency.

Even if you are already registered, you are still required to report certain events by updating Form U4, and your registration is still subject to review when you do so.

7. You may be able to get registered even if you don’t have a spotless financial history.

Regulators are looking out for your customers and they want to collect all relevant information so they can stop problems before they start. They will only deny your registration if they feel it is in the public’s interest.

If a checkered financial history fit with other red flags, such as a criminal record or a history of regulatory violations, then a denial would be more likely. However, an isolated financial incident would be less likely to cause regulators to deny a registration. Regulators look at each case individually.

Note that regulations vary by state, and that in some states regulators will not look at your credit rating when evaluating your application. Certain regulators may also allow you to send your information before you apply, so you can see whether they would accept your application. For more information, contact your state securities administrator. Contact information may be found on the NASAA’s website.

Reminder: this is not legal advice and is provided for educational purposes only. Please consult with a compliance professional to identify and address any issues regarding your situation or your state’s regulations. Always check with your compliance department regarding compliance issues.

 

Sources:

Form U4

Form U4 Instructions

“Why Bad Credit Is Bad For Financial Careers”

Study Question of the Week: May 21, 2014 Edition

This week’s study question from the Solomon Online Exam Simulator question database is now available. Relevant to the Series 7, Series 52, and Series 53. –ANSWER POSTED– Continue reading

This week’s study question from the Solomon Online Exam Simulator question database is now available.

Study ? of the Week

Question (Relevant to the Series 7Series 52, and Series 53): 

The spread in a municipal underwriting is equal to:

Answers:

A. the manager’s fee plus the total takedown

B. the manager’s fee plus the additional takedown

C. the additional takedown plus the concession fee

D. the total takedown plus the additional takedown

Correct Answer: A. the manager’s fee plus the total takedown

Rationale: The spread consists of the manager’s fee plus the total takedown. The total takedown may be further broken down into the additional takedown and the concession fee.

Weekly study questions are from Solomon’s industry-leading Online Exam Simulator.

Study Question of the Week: May 14, 2014 Edition

This week’s study question from the Solomon Online Exam Simulator question database is now available. Relevant to the Series 7, Series 51, Series 52, Series 53, Series 62, Series 79, Series 82, and Series 99. –ANSWER POSTED– Continue reading

This week’s study question from the Solomon Online Exam Simulator question database is now available.

Study ? of the Week

Question (Relevant to the Series 7, Series 51Series 52, Series 53Series 62, Series 79, Series 82, and Series 99): 

Why would a bond issuer decide to issue an advance refunding bond?

Answers:

A. Because interest rates have risen

B. To lock into the current lower interest rates

C. Because the CPI has gone up

D. To try to increase the yield on their bond issue

Correct Answer: B. To lock into the current lower interest rates

Rationale: A bond refunding is the replacement of existing bonds with new “refunding“ bonds. The issuer of refunding bonds seeks to lower its interest payments by paying off its previously issued (refunded) bonds with newly issued bonds that pay a lower interest rate. An advance refunding bond refers to one in which more than 90 days must elapse before the refunded bond can be retired. An issuer typically uses advance refunding when interest rates have dropped significantly, but the next call date is not in the near future. An advance refunding bond allows the issuer to lock in the lower interest rates now without risking that they rise before the call date arrives.

Weekly study questions are from Solomon’s industry-leading Online Exam Simulator.

Study Question of the Week: April 9, 2014 Edition

This week’s study question from the Solomon Online Exam Simulator question database is now available. Relevant to the Series 6, Series 7, Series 24, Series 26, Series 52, Series 53, Series 66, Series 79, and Series 99. –ANSWER POSTED– Continue reading

This week’s study question from the Solomon Online Exam Simulator question database is now available.

Study ? of the Week

Question (Relevant to the Series 6Series 7, Series 24, Series 26, Series 52, Series 53, Series 66Series 79, and Series 99): 

Which of the following are correct dollar minimums for the Bank Secrecy Act’s requirements for broker-dealers?

I. $3,000 or more received or transmitted must be recorded in a monetary instrument log (MIL)

II. $5,000 or more received or transmitted must be recorded in a monetary instrument log (MIL)

III. Cash transaction of $5,000 or more must be reported to the IRS

IV. Cash transaction of $10,000 or more must be reported to the IRS

Answers:

A. I and III

B. I and IV

C. II and III

D. II and IV

Correct Answer: B. I and IV

Rationale: In any one day, a transmittal of $3,000 or more or a cash transaction must be recorded in a monetary instrument log (MIL) and cash transaction of $10,000 or more must be reported to the IRS.

Weekly study questions are from Solomon’s industry-leading Online Exam Simulator.

Study Question of the Week: March 26, 2014 Edition

This week’s study question from the Solomon Online Exam Simulator question database is now available. Relevant to the Series 7, Series 51, Series 52, Series 53, and Series 99. –ANSWER POSTED– Continue reading

This week’s study question from the Solomon Online Exam Simulator question database is now available.

Study ? of the Week

Question (Relevant to the Series 7, Series 51, Series 52, Series 53, and Series 99): 

Sam, an agent, is passionate about politics. He lives in State A and works in State B. He wants to contribute money to some campaigns for public office in each state, but is also hoping to engage in municipal securities business with each state. Where can Sam make contributions?

Answers:

A. State A only

B. State B only

C. State A and State B

D. Neither State A nor State B

Correct Answer: A. State A only

Rationale: Agents are allowed to make contributions to candidates that they could vote for, up to $250 per election. Contributions to other candidates would result in bans from doing municipal securities business with the municipal issuer where the candidate is running for office.

Weekly study questions are from Solomon’s industry-leading Online Exam Simulator.