National Securities Clearing Corporation Rulemaking:
Notice of Filing and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change Regarding Year 2000 Policies
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
(Release No. 34-41768; File No. SR-NSCC-99-11)
August 19, 1999
Self-Regulatory Organizations; National Securities Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change Regarding Year 2000 Policies
Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Act"),1 notice is hereby given that on August 19, 1999, the National Securities Clearing Corporation ("NSCC") filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission") the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which items have been prepared primarily by NSCC. The Commission is publishing this notice and order to solicit comments from interested persons and to grant accelerated approval of the proposal.
I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the
Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change
Under the proposed rule change, NSCC will not activate any new or additional participant accounts or provide new services to participants after September 15, 1999, and until reasonably practicable in January 2000.
II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and
Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
In its filing with the Commission, NSCC included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. NSCC has prepared summaries, set forth in sections (A), (B), and (C) below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.2
(A) Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and
Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
The proposed rule change provides that, NSCC will not activate any new or additional participant accounts or provide new services to participants after September 15, 1999, and until reasonably practicable in January, 2000. Among other things, NSCC announced in its July 19, 1999, Important Notice that after September 15, 1999, and for the remainder of the calendar year, NSCC will not: (1) permit new participants to utilize NSCC's services; (2) allow current participants to utilize new NSCC services; and (3) assign additional participant numbers to current participants.
NSCC's Rule 2 provides in part that:
the Corporation may deny an application to become a Member or to use one or more additional services of the Corporation upon a determination by the Corporation that the Corporation does not have adequate personnel, space, data processing capacity or other operational capability at such time to perform its services for the applicant or Member without impairing the ability of the Corporation to provide services for its existing Settling Members, to assure the prompt, accurate and orderly processing and settlement of securities transactions or to otherwise carry out its functions; provided, however, that any such applications which are denied pursuant to this paragraph shall be approved as promptly as the capabilities of the Corporation permit.
NSCC believes that continuing to activate numerous new or additional participant accounts or to provide new services to participants after September 15th could potentially be disruptive to the rest of its Year 2000 efforts. Specifically, NSCC will be devoting a great deal of resources to confirming the Year 2000 readiness of its systems and applications in October and November of 1999. Additionally, NSCC would like to ensure that it has enough time to deal with any unanticipated issues that arise before the end of the calendar year.
NSCC believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder. In particular, the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Act3 which requires that the rules of a clearing agency be designed to promote the prompt and accurate clearance and settlement of securities transactions and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest.
(B) Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
NSCC does not believe that the proposed rule change will impact or impose a burden on competition.
(C) Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on
The Proposed Rule Change Received from Members,
Participants, or Others
NSCC advised members of the Year 2000 policy modifications in an Important Notice, dated July 19, 1999. No written comments relating to the Important Notice or proposed rule change have been solicited or received. NSCC will notify the Commission of any written comments received by NSCC.
III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing
For Commission Action
Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Act4 requires that the rules of a clearing agency be designed to promote the prompt and accurate clearance and settlement of securities transactions. The Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with this obligation because the proposed modifications to NSCC's Year 2000 policies will permit NSCC sufficient time before year end to complete its Year 2000 preparations. As a result, NSCC should be able to continue to provide prompt and accurate clearance and settlement of securities transactions before, on, and after Year 2000 without interruption.
NSCC requested that the Commission find good cause for approving the proposed rule change prior to the thirtieth day after the publication of notice of the filing. The Commission finds good cause for approving the proposed rule change prior to the thirtieth day after the publication of notice of the filing because such approval will allow NSCC to better prepare for a smooth Year 2000 transition.
IV. Solicitation of Comments
Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Persons making written submissions should file six copies thereof with the Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20549-0609. Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. § 552, will be available for inspection and copying in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 450 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20549. Copies of such filing will also be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of NSCC. All submissions should refer to the File No. SR-NSCC-99-11 and should be submitted by [insert date 21 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register].
It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,5 that the proposed rule change (File No. SR-NSCC-99-11) be and hereby is approved.
For the Commission by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.6
Jonathan G. Katz
115 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).
2The Commission has modified the text of the summaries prepared by NSCC.
315 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).
415 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).
515 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2).
617 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).