MSRB increasing annual fees for municipal advisor professionals

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WASHINGTON — The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board on Friday filed a proposed rule change with the Securities and Exchange Commission that would raise the annual fee that municipal advisor professionals must pay to $500 from $300.

“We believe the fee assessment of $500 per municipal advisor professional is an important step toward supporting the organization’s long-term financial sustainability and ability to fulfill its congressionally-mandated mission to protect the integrity of the $3.8 trillion municipal securities market,” the MSRB said in a notice released early Friday evening.

The board said that under the change to its Rule A-11(a) on assessments for municipal advisor professionals, a municipal advisor firm would have to pay a recurring annual fee of $500 for each person associated with the firm who is qualified as a municipal advisor firm and has filed a Form MA-1 with the SEC as of Jan. 31 of that year.

To become qualified, the MA professional must have passed the MSRB’s Series 50 exam.

The fee increase is immediately effect, but the first payment at the new rate will not be due until April 30, 2018, the MSRB said. The first invoice at the new fee level will be sent to firms in April 2018 for payment by April 30, 2018, it added.

The proposed rule changes also require that if an MA firm does not pay the total fee that is due on time, it will have to pay a $25 monthly late fee.

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