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OCC BULLETIN 2014-36
To: Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks and Federal Savings Associations, Department and Division Heads, All Examining Personnel, and Other Interested Parties

Description: New Comptroller's Handbook Booklet and Rescissions

Summary

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued today the “Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Rules” booklet of the Comptroller’s Handbook. This new booklet, part of the Securities Compliance series, consolidates certain guidance from the Comptroller’s Handbook booklet “Bank Dealer Activities,” issued in March 1990, and the Comptroller’s Handbook for Compliance, “Securities Activities” booklet, issued in September 1991.   

Highlights

The “Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Rules” booklet

  • introduces the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s (MSRB) rules and interpretive guidance.
  • provides guidance to bank examiners and bankers for evaluating compliance with MSRB rules.
  • addresses recent updates to the MSRB’s rules regarding books and records, suitability of recommendations and transactions, time of trade disclosures, prices and commissions, transactions with sophisticated municipal market professionals, and municipal advisors.

Note for Community Banks

This booklet applies to all national banks and federal savings associations (FSA) engaged in municipal securities dealer activities. Community banks should be familiar with the application of MSRB rules to their operations.

Background

The Securities Acts Amendments of 1975 created the MSRB, a self-regulatory body, to formulate working rules for regulating the municipal securities industry. The OCC is statutorily required to enforce the MSRB’s rules as they apply to national banks and FSAs. The “Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Rules” booklet provides guidance to bank examiners and bankers for evaluating compliance with the MSRB’s rules.

With the adoption of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s final rule on the registration of municipal advisors,1  the MSRB is implementing new rules and standards for municipal advisors. The OCC will update the “Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Rules” booklet after the MSRB finalizes those rules.

With the issuance of this booklet, the following guidance is rescinded:

  • Pages 3-33 of the Comptroller’s Handbook for Compliance, “Securities Activities” booklet. The remainder of this booklet will be rescinded when the new “Government Securities Act” booklet of the Comptroller’s Handbook is issued.
  • Pages 9-24 of the “Bank Dealer Activities” booklet of the Comptroller’s Handbook. The remainder of this booklet will be rescinded when the new “Financial Derivatives and Trading Activities” booklet of the Comptroller’s Handbook is issued.

 For further information, contact David Barfield, National Bank Examiner, Credit and Market Risk Division, at (202) 649-6360.
 

John C. Lyons Jr.
Senior Deputy Comptroller and Chief National Bank Examiner

 

 1 See SEC Release 34-70462 (September 20, 2013) and 78 Fed. Reg. 67468 (November 12, 2013).

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