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From Securities Regulation Daily, January 13, 2014

SEC delays compliance with municipal advisor registration rules

By Jacquelyn Lumb

The SEC has delayed the effective date for compliance with the municipal advisor registration rules at the request of market participants. Market participants asked for additional time to adapt their policies and procedures to the new rules, develop supervisory practices and internal controls, adapt their account and investment tracking systems, develop recordkeeping procedures, adapt their business models and practices, educate their personnel, and develop training programs (Release No. 34-71288).

The SEC temporarily stayed Rules 15Ba1-1 through 15Ba1-8, and Rule 15Bc4-1, along with Forms MA, MA-1, MA-W, and MA-NR until July 1, 2014, the date on which the first set of municipal advisors will be required to register under the final rules. The SEC also made conforming, non-substantive amendments to Rule 15Ba1-8 to conform the recordkeeping requirement dates to the new compliance date.

Municipal advisor registration was required under Dodd-Frank Act Sec. 975. The SEC adopted a permanent registration regime on September 20, 2013, with a phased-in compliance period beginning July 1, 2014. In order to provide certainty about the rules and forms pending publication in the Federal Register, the SEC ordered an exemption until the publication date upon which the stay is effective.

In issuing the stay, the SEC said it appropriately balanced the goal of protecting municipal entities, enhancing the quality of municipal advice, and protecting investors while providing appropriate relief to industry participants that need additional time to implement effective compliance with the rules.

This is Release No. 34-71288.

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