September 27, 2021

SEC Staff Provides Temporary Relief from Rule 15c2-11 Changes for Fixed Income Securities

Earlier this month, I blogged about falling off of the Rule 15c2-11 cliff when changes to the rule go into effect tomorrow. Rule 15c2-11 specifies the information that brokers must have to initiate or maintain quotations in OTC securities. While much of the focus has been on the impact of the rule changes on the quotation of equity securities of smaller issuers in the OTC markets (i.e., the cessation of quotations for a large number of issuers who are not able or willing to provide the required public information), Rule 15c2-11 applies to the quotation of fixed income securities, except for exempt securities such as U.S. treasury securities and municipal securities, which are specifically exempted from Rule 15c2-11.

On Friday, the Staff of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets issued a no-action letter to FINRA stating that the Staff would not recommend enforcement action until January 3, 2022 for quotations published by broker-dealers for fixed income securities in order to “allow for an orderly and good faith transition into compliance with the Amended Rule.” The no-action letter indicates that it was issued in response to “requests from industry representatives that have indicated through telephonic meetings with Commission staff that they may be unable to complete, by the compliance date of September 28, 2021, the operational and systems changes necessary to comply with the amendments to Rule 15c2-11…for fixed income securities.”

– Dave Lynn