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SEC Adopts Final Muni Advisor Rule

Posted on 9/19/2013

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has adopted a final rule on municipal advisor registration under the Dodd-Frank Act, making some improvements to the original proposal.

The final rule will narrow the original proposal's scope of who must register as a municipal advisor by more narrowly defining what constitutes "investment strategies" on which municipal advisors give advice. It also provides exemptions for a few traditional banking products and services, as well as for individuals who are serving in official capacities with municipalities. In addition, the final rule will not require individuals working for registered municipal advisory firm to individually register as municipal advisors.

The final rule does not exempt banks in their entirety. 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.

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