SEC Denies Expert Market – For Now

As the compliance date for the new 15c2-11 rules looms near, on August 2, 2021, in a very short statement, the SEC shot down any near-term hope for an OTC Markets operated “expert market.”  The SEC short statement indicated that a review of the proposed exemptive order that would allow the expert market is not on its agenda in the short term.  The SEC continued that “[A]ccordingly, on September 28, 2021, the compliance date for the amendments to Rule 15c2-11, we expect that broker-dealers will no longer be able to publish proprietary quotations for the securities of any issuer for which there is no current and publicly available information, unless an existing exception to Rule 15c2-11 applies.”

The statement acts as a great segue for a review as to just what those exceptions may be.  In addition, this blog will discuss the OTC Markets proposed expert market and finish with a broader refresher on the new 211 rules including the

OTC Markets Issues Comment Letters On FINRA Rules 6432 And 5250; The 15c2-11 Rules

January 8, 2018, OTC Markets Group, Inc. (“OTC Markets”) submitted a comment letter to FINRA related to FINRA Rule 6432.  Rule 6432 requires that a market maker or broker-dealer have the information specified in Securities Exchange Act Rule 15c2-11 before making a quotation in a security on the over-the-counter market. Although I summarize the salient points of the OTC Markets comment letter, I encourage those interested to read the entire letter, which contains an in-depth analysis and comprehensive arguments to support its position. On February 8, 2018, OTC Markets submitted a second comment letter to FINRA, this one related to FINRA Rule 5250.  Rule 5250 prohibits companies from compensating market makers in connection with the preparation and filing of a Form 211 application.

Rule 6432 – Compliance with the Information Requirements of SEA Rule 15c2-11

Subject to certain exceptions, including the “piggyback exception” discussed below, Rule 6432 requires that all broker-dealers have and maintain certain information on a