Comment requested on updating dealer ad requirements and applying similar standards for municipal advisors. The MSRB announced that it is seeking comment on a plan to update and harmonize certain provisions of its municipal securities dealer advertising rule with those of other financial regulators, and to create similar advertising standards for municipal advisors. Comments should be submitted by March 24, 2017. (2/16/2017)

Amendments to customer confirmations rule adopted. FINRA announced that the SEC has approved amendments to FINRA Rule 2232 (Customer Confirmations) requiring member firms to disclose additional transaction-related information to retail customers for trades in certain fixed income securities. The amended rule requires a member to disclose the amount of mark-up or mark-down it applies to trades with retail customers in corporate or agency debt securities if the member also executes an offsetting principal trade in the same security on the same trading day. The amended rule further requires members to disclose two extra items on all retail customer confirmations for corporate and agency debt security trades: a reference, and a hyperlink if the confirmation is electronic, to a web page hosted by FINRA that contains publicly available trading data for the specific security that was traded; plus the execution time of the transaction, expressed to the second. These amendments will become effective on May 14, 2018. (2/14/2017) FINRA Regulatory Notice 17-08.

FINRA releases free recording of workshop on TRACE Reporting of Treasury Securities Transactions. FINRA made available a recording of its first phone-in workshop on the reporting of transactions in the U.S. Treasury securities via the Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine. (2/14/2017) FINRA press release.

MSRB assesses timing of continuing disclosure. The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board published a report that assesses the timeliness of submissions of annual financial information and audited financial statements to the MSRB’s Electronic Municipal Market Access website, which found that the timing of submissions averaged approximately 199 calendar days after the end of the applicable fiscal year.(2/14/2017) MSRB press release. 

FINRA proposes amendments to rules on communications with public. FINRA is seeking comments on a proposal that would amend its rules on communications with the public to allow a firm to distribute a customized hypothetical investment planning illustration that includes the projected performance of an asset allocation or other investment strategy, but not an individual security, subject to certain conditions. Comments are due on or before March 27, 2017. (2/10/2017) FINRA Regulatory Notice 17-06.

MSRB enhances EMMA alert tools. The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board has improved the automated alerts issued by its Electronic Municipal Market Access website by permitting users to customize alerts to specify the types of continuing disclosure and to receive more details about the relevant bond and its associated trade activity or filing. (2/8/2017) MSRB press release.

FINRA reports on progress made on Dispute Resolution Task Force recommendations. FINRA published a progress report on its implementation of the recommendations from the FINRA Dispute Resolution Task Force’s Final Report, which suggested improvements to FINRA’s arbitration and mediation forum. (2/8/2017) FINRA press release.

NFA reveals new Board of Director and Nominating Committee members. The National Futures Association announced the members elected to its Board of Director and 2017 Nominating Committee. (2/8/2017) NFA Notice I-17-06.