Pass or Fail: SEC to Review MSRB’s Proposed Basic Competency Exam

Individuals who perform “municipal advisory activities, such as providing financial advice to state and local governments on municipal bond issuances” may soon be required to be licensed by passing a basic competency exam.

During their recent quarterly board meeting, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”) —took two important steps for the involved municipal advisors. The first was to create a study outline for the licensing exam for municipal advisors that was proposed by the MSRB and is currently being considered for approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC).

If the license requirement is approved, the “test will cover the role and responsibilities of municipal advisor professionals as well as the rules and regulations governing their activities.” The MSRB expects that once approved by the SEC, pilot testing could be conducted as early as this year.

“Municipal advisors play a key role in municipal finance transactions, from the most basic to highly complex transactions,” said MSRB Chair Kym Arnone. “Going forward, passing a basic competency exam will be a requirement for all municipal advisors in—or entering—the profession. Finalizing the blueprint for the municipal advisor exam is a major milestone in this effort.”

The other action taken during the meeting was to propose amendments to Rule G-20, which governs gift and gratuity activity, in order to extend it to also pertain to municipal advisors. The proposed amended rule will be sent to the SEC for review and approval.

Click here to read about other decisions made in this meeting.

For more information on this and other related subjects, please contact us at (619) 278.0020 to schedule a consultation.


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