June 13, 2012
Most brokerage firms will not allow their retail sales force to e-mail new issue scales to their retail customers even if the customers are requesting it.
New issue scales provide the customer with the size of the offering, the name of the issuer, the rating, the various maturity dates, the different coupons on the bonds, the prices of the bonds, the yield to maturity and the yield to worst on the bonds and the price of the bonds among other information. It is not uncommon for a new issue scale to have 25 or more bonds with different maturity dates. The best way to disseminate this information would be via e-mail or a web-site so the customer could see it.
Some issuers ask the underwriter to provide a retail order period and the underwriter honors that request, but they still will not let retail see the scale. Quit talking about transparency and provide it.
Most institutions are provided scales via Bloomberg or e-mail. It would seem that the retail investor is not being treated fairly and this would violate MSRB rule G-17.
Rule G-17: Fair Dealing
In addition to the specific provisions of Rule G-11, underwriters are also subject to the general fair dealing rule of MSRB Rule G-17. This rule states: In the conduct of its municipal securities or municipal advisory activities, each broker, dealer, municipal securities dealer, and municipal advisor shall deal fairly with all persons and shall not engage in any deceptive, dishonest, or unfair practice.
This rule of fair dealing applies to both the conduct of an underwriter during the primary offering (the underwriting period) and to any transactions after that (secondary market transactions). Under this rule, all parties with whom an underwriter deals – issuers, investors and other broker dealers – must be dealt with fairly.