MSRB to seek comment on reducing trade reporting times

Bonds

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board plans to issue a request for comment on a retrospective review of its Rule G-14 in hopes of cutting down the standard 15 minute time of trade reporting window that has been in place since 2005.

That was decided at the MSRB’s quarterly board meeting which concluded Thursday. The MSRB also decided to publish a summary of comments received and hold virtual town halls as part of its request for information on environmental, social and governance considerations in the muni market.

“As part of our focus on modernizing our rule book in light of evolving market practices and technology, we are interested in exploring whether the time might be right to consider shortening what constitutes ‘real-time’ trade reporting in our unique market,” MSRB CEO Mark Kim said. “We plan to solicit public comment from dealers, investors and other stakeholders about the benefits and challenges of potential rule amendments to enhance post-trade transparency.”

Mark Kim, MSRB CEO said the request for comment will be issued to weight the benefits and challenges to potential rule amendments aimed at enhancing post-trade transparency

The RFC will look at what it means for the municipal market to have real-time trade reporting and the board plans to go ahead with that in the coming months. But the board also plans to publish a complicance resource related to new issue pricing, which garnered comments at the beginning of this year urging the board to avoid creating any additional compliance standards.

In response to the over 50 comments received in its request for information on ESG in the muni market, the MSRB plans to publish a summary of the comments and hold virtual town halls to discuss its themes.

That will be coming in the next few months and will function as the starting point for the MSRB’s ongoing efforts to engage market participants on ESG.

“We are pleased that so many different organizations and individuals took advantage of our 90-day comment period to share their perspectives on this evolving and growing area of our market,” said MSRB vice chair Meredith Hathorn. “As the Board continues to synthesize the wealth of information provided, we have many threads to pull, including specific suggestions to enhance the EMMA website,” she added. “We look forward to continuing to provide forums to bring different viewpoints together for more dialogue.”

As last quarter’s meeting was attended by Financial Industry Regulatory authority CEO Robert Cook, this quarter’s meeting was attended by Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler as part of the MSRB’s’ ongoing regulatory coordination.

“We were honored to speak with Chair Gensler about how the policy priorities of the Commission intersect with our work to engage constructively with municipal market shareholders to further our mission to strengthen and protect the municipal market,” MSRB Chair Patrick Brett said.

The board’s modernization efforts include updates to its EMMA, EMMA Labs and MSRB.org platforms that aim to ease navigation between the three sites and create more visual similarity between them.

Just this morning, the MSRB added ICE Municipal AAA Yield Curve to its suite of yield curves on EMMA and plans to integrate comments received from its Form G-32 to help enhance the input of primary market data and make the process of submitting easier for dealers.

The MSRB consistently hears from EMMA users that the site gets confusing for issuers when submitting disclosures for a number of different CUSIPs, so they’ll be integrating some tools that make the management of specific CUSIPs easier. 

The board also got a preliminary look at what the redesigned MSRB.org website will look like. That update is expected later this year, to make it easier to find information about what the board is up to and facilitate easier access to compliance resources and newsletters that aren’t easy to find in its current layout.

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