Bonds

MSRB withdraws rate card filing with SEC

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board has formally withdrawn its 2024 rate card filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, an administrative move that keeps in place the reverted rates from 2023.

The board has also initiated a retrospective review of the annual rate card process and said it intends to take a hard look at ways it can enhance transparency for the market.

“The MSRB had anticipated reviewing the rate card model at some point after implementation, and given the feedback we received, now is the right time to undertake that review,” said Mark Kim, chief executive officer at the MSRB. “The MSRB remains firmly committed to strong financial stewardship and the goals of the rate card model, which include the return of surplus fee revenue to regulated entities and the disciplined management of organizational reserves.”

“The MSRB had anticipated reviewing the rate card model at some point after implementation, and given the feedback we received, now is the right time to undertake that review,” said Mark Kim, chief executive officer at the MSRB. “The MSRB remains firmly committed to strong financial stewardship and the goals of the rate card model, which include the return of surplus fee revenue to regulated entities and the disciplined management of organizational reserves.”

The board also intends to take a particular look at enhancing transparency around its technology expenses, a continued sore point for the MSRB.

“Specifically, the MSRB looks forward to engaging with our stakeholders to not only evaluate the rate card model itself and the comments and suggestions that they have made but secondly, to provide greater and enhanced financial transparency around our budget and in particular, around technology expenses,” Kim said.. “And third, we look forward to exploring avenues to provide our stakeholders with the opportunity to provide feedback to the MSRB in the development of our budget and in our budget process.”

“From a practical standpoint, that withdrawal ensures that we have adequate time to address the public comments in a very substantive and constructive way,” Kim said.

The 2023 fees state that the underwriting fee is $0.0297 per $1,000 par underwritten, transaction fee is $0.0107 per $1,000 transacted, trade count fee is $1.10 per trade and the municipal advisor fee is $1,060 per covered professional.

The board may be conducting its own internal review, but any movement on new fees will have to wait until the SEC’s comment period concludes, which is three weeks after its publication in the federal register on Feb. 2.

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