The SEC voted unanimously yesterday to adopt a final rule on municipal adviser registration as required in the Dodd-Frank Act. Based on information released by the SEC, there were some positive changes to the final rule, and comments from the industry were given consideration.
The final rule will narrow the scope of who must register as a municipal adviser by more narrowly defining what constitutes “investment strategies” that a municipal adviser gives advice on. It also provides exemptions for a few traditional banking products and services (depository products, extensions of credit and indenture trustees), as well as for individuals who are serving in an official capacity with a municipality.
In another positive development for bankers, individuals working for a registered municipal advisory firm do not need to individually register as a municipal adviser, but may rely on their firm’s registration.
The final rule does not exempt banks in their entirety, as ABA had advocated. Remaining concerns for bankers include the definition of what is captured as “advice” given on “investment strategies” and what exactly is exempted as a traditional banking product or service.
The SEC’s temporary registration regime has been extended until July 1, 2014, when the final rule takes effect.