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General Rules and Regulations
promulgated
under the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934





Rule 15c2-12 -- Municipal Securities Disclosure


Preliminary Note: For a discussion of disclosure obligations relating to municipal securities, issuers, brokers, dealers, and municipal securities dealers should refer to Securities Act Release No. 7049, Securities Exchange Act Release No. 33741, FR-42 (March 9, 1994). For a discussion of the obligations of underwriters to have a reasonable basis for recommending municipal securities, brokers, dealers, and municipal securities dealers should refer to Securities Exchange Act Release No. 26100 (Sept. 22, 1988) and Securities Exchange Act Release No. 26985 (June 28, 1989).
  1. General. As a means reasonably designed to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, or manipulative acts or practices, it shall be unlawful for any broker, dealer, or municipal securities dealer (a "Participating Underwriter" when used in connection with an Offering) to act as an underwriter in a primary offering of municipal securities with an aggregate principal amount of $1,000,000 or more (an "Offering") unless the Participating Underwriter complies with the requirements of this section or is exempted from the provisions of this section.

  2. Requirements.

    1. Prior to the time the Participating Underwriter bids for, purchases, offers, or sells municipal securities in an Offering, the Participating Underwriter shall obtain and review an official statement that an issuer of such securities deems final as of its date, except for the omission of no more than the following information: The offering price(s), interest rate(s), selling compensation, aggregate principal amount, principal amount per maturity, delivery dates, any other terms or provisions required by an issuer of such securities to be specified in a competitive bid, ratings, other terms of the securities depending on such matters, and the identity of the underwriter(s).

    2. Except in competitively bid offerings, from the time the Participating Underwriter has reached an understanding with an issuer of municipal securities that it will become a Participating Underwriter in an Offering until a final official statement is available, the Participating Underwriter shall send no later than the next business day, by first-class mail or other equally prompt means, to any potential customer, on request, a single copy of the most recent preliminary official statement, if any.

    3. The Participating Underwriter shall contract with an issuer of municipal securities or its designated agent to receive, within seven business days after any final agreement to purchase, offer, or sell the municipal securities in an Offering and in sufficient time to accompany any confirmation that requests payment from any customer, copies of a final official statement in sufficient quantity to comply with paragraph (b)(4) of this rule and the rules of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board.

    4. From the time the final official statement becomes available until the earlier of-

      1. Ninety days from the end of the underwriting period or

      2. The time when the official statement is available to any person from the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, but in no case less than twenty-five days following the end of the underwriting period, the Participating Underwriter in an Offering shall send no later than the next business day, by first-class mail or other equally prompt means, to any potential customer, on request, a single copy of the final official statement.



      1. A Participating Underwriter shall not purchase or sell municipal securities in connection with an Offering unless the Participating Underwriter has reasonably determined that an issuer of municipal securities, or an obligated person for whom financial or operating data is presented in the final official statement has undertaken, either individually or in combination with other issuers of such municipal securities or obligated persons, in a written agreement or contract for the benefit of holders of such securities, to provide the following to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board in an electronic format as prescribed by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, either directly or indirectly through an indenture trustee or a designated agent:

        1. Annual financial information for each obligated person for whom financial information or operating data is presented in the final official statement, or, for each obligated person meeting the objective criteria specified in the undertaking and used to select the obligated persons for whom financial information or operating data is presented in the final official statement, except that, in the case of pooled obligations, the undertaking shall specify such objective criteria;

        2. If not submitted as part of the annual financial information, then when and if available, audited financial statements for each obligated person covered by paragraph (b)(5)(i)(A) of this section;

        3. In a timely manner, notice of any of the following events with respect to the securities being offered in the Offering, if material:

          1. Principal and interest payment delinquencies;

          2. Non-payment related defaults;

          3. Unscheduled draws on debt service reserves reflecting financial difficulties;

          4. Unscheduled draws on credit enhancements reflecting financial difficulties;

          5. Substitution of credit or liquidity providers, or their failure to perform;

          6. Adverse tax opinions or events affecting the tax-exempt status of the security;

          7. Modifications to rights of security holders;

          8. Bond calls;

          9. Defeasances;

          10. Release, substitution, or sale of property securing repayment of the securities;

          11. Rating changes; and

        4. In a timely manner, notice of a failure of any person specified in paragraph (b)(5)(i)(A) of this section to provide required annual financial information, on or before the date specified in the written agreement or contract.

      2. The written agreement or contract for the benefit of holders of such securities also shall identify each person for whom annual financial information and notices of material events will be provided, either by name or by the objective criteria used to select such persons, and, for each such person shall:

        1. Specify, in reasonable detail, the type of financial information and operating data to be provided as part of annual financial information;

        2. Specify, in reasonable detail, the accounting principles pursuant to which financial statements will be prepared, and whether the financial statements will be audited; and

        3. Specify the date on which the annual financial information for the preceding fiscal year will be provided.

      3. Such written agreement or contract for the benefit of holders of such securities also may provide that the continuing obligation to provide annual financial information and notices of events may be terminated with respect to any obligated person, if and when such obligated person no longer remains an obligated person with respect to such municipal securities.

      4. Such written agreement or contract for the benefit of holders of such securities also shall provide that all documents provided to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board shall be accompanied by identifying information as prescribed by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board.
  3. Recommendations. As a means reasonably designed to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, or manipulative acts or practices, it shall be unlawful for any broker, dealer, or municipal securities dealer to recommend the purchase or sale of a municipal security unless such broker, dealer, or municipal securities dealer has procedures in place that provide reasonable assurance that it will receive prompt notice of any event disclosed pursuant to paragraph (b)(5)(i)(C), paragraph (b)(5)(i)(D), and paragraph (d)(2)(ii)(B) of this section with respect to that security.

  4. Exemptions.

    1. This section shall not apply to a primary offering of municipal securities in authorized denominations of $100,000 or more, if such securities:

      1. Are sold to no more than thirty-five persons each of whom the Participating Underwriter reasonably believes:

        1. Has such knowledge and experience in financial and business matters that it is capable of evaluating the merits and risks of the prospective investment; and

        2. Is not purchasing for more than one account or with a view to distributing the securities; or

      2. Have a maturity of nine months or less; or

      3. At the option of the holder thereof may be tendered to an issuer of such securities or its designated agent for redemption or purchase at par value or more at least as frequently as every nine months until maturity, earlier redemption, or purchase by an issuer or its designated agent.

    2. Paragraph (b)(5) of this section shall not apply to an Offering of municipal securities if, at such time as an issuer of such municipal securities delivers the securities to the Participating Underwriters:

      1. No obligated person will be an obligated person with respect to more than $10,000,000 in aggregate amount of outstanding municipal securities, including the offered securities and excluding municipal securities that were offered in a transaction exempt from this section pursuant to paragraph (d)(1) of this section;

      2. An issuer of municipal securities or obligated person has undertaken, either individually or in combination with other issuers of municipal securities or obligated persons, in a written agreement or contract for the benefit of holders of such municipal securities, to provide the following to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board in an electronic format as prescribed by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board:

        1. At least annually, financial information or operating data regarding each obligated person for which financial information or operating data is presented in the final official statement, as specified in the undertaking, which financial information and operating data shall include, at a minimum, that financial information and operating data which is customarily prepared by such obligated person and is publicly available; and

        2. In a timely manner, notice of events specified in paragraph (b)(5)(i)(C) of this section with respect to the securities that are the subject of the Offering, if material; and

        3. Such written agreement or contract for the benefit of holders of such securities also shall provide that all documents provided to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board shall be accompanied by identifying information as prescribed by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board; and

      3. the final official statement identifies by name, address, and telephone number the persons from which the foregoing information, data, and notices can be obtained.

    3. The provisions of paragraph (b)(5) of this section, other than paragraph (b)(5)(i)(C) of this section, shall not apply to an Offering of municipal securities, if such municipal securities have a stated maturity of 18 months or less.

    4. The provisions of paragraph (c) of this section shall not apply to municipal securities:

      1. Sold in an Offering to which paragraph (b)(5) of this section did not apply, other than Offerings exempt under paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section; or

      2. Sold in an Offering exempt from this section under paragraph (d)(1) of this section.

  5. Exemptive authority. The Commission, upon written request, or upon its own motion, may exempt any broker, dealer, or municipal securities dealer, whether acting in the capacity of a Participating Underwriter or otherwise, that is a participant in a transaction or class of transactions from any requirement of this section, either unconditionally or on specified terms and conditions, if the Commission determines that such an exemption is consistent with the public interest and the protection of investors.

  6. Definitions. For the purposes of this rule-

    1. The term "authorized denominations of $100,000 or more" means municipal securities with a principal amount of $100,000 or more and with restrictions that prevent the sale or transfer of such securities in principal amounts of less than $100,000 other than through a primary offering; except that, for municipal securities with an original issue discount of 10 percent or more, the term means municipal securities with a minimum purchase price of $100,000 or more and with restrictions that prevent the sale or transfer of such securities, in principal amounts that are less than the original principal amount at the time of the primary offering, other than through a primary offering.

    2. The term "end of the underwriting period" means the later of such time as

      1. the issuer of municipal securities delivers the securities to the Participating Underwriters or

      2. the Participating Underwriter does not retain, directly or as a member or an underwriting syndicate, an unsold balance of the securities for sale to the public.

    3. The term final official statement means a document or set of documents prepared by an issuer of municipal securities or its representatives that is complete as of the date delivered to the Participating Underwriter(s) and that sets forth information concerning the terms of the proposed issue of securities; information, including financial information or operating data, concerning such issuers of municipal securities and those other entities, enterprises, funds, accounts, and other persons material to an evaluation of the Offering; and a description of the undertakings to be provided pursuant to paragraph (b)(5)(i), paragraph (d)(2)(ii), and paragraph (d)(2)(iii) of this section, if applicable, and of any instances in the previous five years in which each person specified pursuant to paragraph (b)(5)(ii) of this section failed to comply, in all material respects, with any previous undertakings in a written contract or agreement specified in paragraph (b)(5)(i) of this section. Financial information or operating data may be set forth in the document or set of documents, or may be included by specific reference to documents available to the public on the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board's Internet Web site or filed with the Commission.

    4. The term "issuer of municipal securities" means the governmental issuer specified in Section 3(a)(29) of the Act and the issuer of any separate security, including a sepatate security as defined in rule 3b-5(a) under the Act.

    5. The term "potential customer" means

      1. Any person contacted by the Participating Underwriter concerning the purchase of municipal securities that are intended to be offered or have been sold in an Offering,

      2. Any person who has expressed an interest to the Participating Underwriter in possibly purchasing such municipal securities, and

      3. Any person who has a customer account with the Participating Underwriter.

    6. The term "preliminary official statement" means an official statement prepared by or for an issuer of municipal securities for dissemination to potential customers prior to the availability of the final official statement.

    7. The term "primary offering" means an offering of municipal securities directly or indirectly by or on behalf of an issuer of such securities, including any remarketing of municipal securities

      1. That is accompanied by a change in the authorized denomination of such securities from $100,000 or more to less than $100,000, or

      2. That is accompanied by a change in the period during which such securities may be tendered to an issuer of such securities or its designated agent for redemption or purchase from a period of nine months or less to a period of more than nine months.

    8. The term underwriter means any person who has purchased from an issuer of municipal securities with a view to, or offers or sells for an issuer of municipal securities in connection with, the offering of any municipal security, or participates or has a direct or indirect participation in any such undertaking, or participates or has a participation in the direct or indirect underwriting of any such undertaking; except, that such term shall not include a person whose interest is limited to a commission, concession, or allowance from an underwriter, broker, dealer, or municipal securities dealer not in excess of the usual and customary distributors' or sellers' commission, concession, or allowance.

    9. The term annual financial information means financial information or operating data, provided at least annually, of the type included in the final official statement with respect to an obligated person, or in the case where no financial information or operating data was provided in the final official statement with respect to such obligated person, of the type included in the final official statement with respect to those obligated persons that meet the objective criteria applied to select the persons for which financial information or operating data will be provided on an annual basis. Financial information or operating data may be set forth in the document or set of documents, or may be included by specific reference to documents available to the public on the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board's Internet Web site or filed with the Commission.

    10. The term obligated person means any person, including an issuer of municipal securities, who is either generally or through an enterprise, fund, or account of such person committed by contract or other arrangement to support payment of all, or part of the obligations on the municipal securities to be sold in the Offering (other than providers of municipal bond insurance, letters of credit, or other liquidity facilities).

  7. Transitional provision. If on July 28, 1989 a Participating Underwriter was contractually committed to act as underwriter in an Offering of municipal securities originally issued before July 29, 1989, the requirements of paragraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4) shall not apply to the Participating Underwriter in connection with such an Offering. Paragraph (b)(5) of this section shall not apply to a Participating Underwriter that has contractually committed to act as an underwriter in an Offering of municipal securities before July 3, 1995; except that paragraph (b)(5)(i)(A) and paragraph (b)(5)(i)(B) shall not apply with respect to fiscal years ending prior to January 1, 1996.Paragraph (c) shall become effective on January 1, 1996. Paragraph (d)(2)(ii) and paragraph (d)(2)(iii) of this section shall not apply to an Offering of municipal securities commencing prior to January 1, 1996.

Regulatory History


54 FR 28813, July 10, 1989, as amended at 59 FR 59360, Nov. 17, 1994; 73 FR 76104, 76132, Dec. 15, 2008

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