SEC Adopts Changes To The Definition Of A “Dealer”

Two years after proposing rule changes (see HERE) the SEC has adopted final new rules amending the definition of a “dealer” under the Exchange Act.  Although the rule change comes after years of a continuous stream of litigation against small-cap and penny stock convertible debt lenders, the new rules specifically fail to provide regulatory clarity to this sector of the marketplace.

The amendments are intended to require certain proprietary or principal traders and liquidity providers to register as either a dealer or government securities dealer as applicable.  The rules amend Exchange Act Rules 5a5-4 and 3a44-2 to enhance the definition of “as part of a regular business” in Sections 3(a)(5) and 3(a)(44) of the Exchange Act.  The enhancement, however, is as to large proprietary traders and government securities dealers, leaving small cap traders to continue with rule making through judicial precedence.


Although the amended rules are not limited to participants in the U.S. Treasury markets,