Notice to Members 04-72

Impermissible Use of Negative Response Letters for the Transfer of Mutual Funds and Variable Annuities (Changes in Broker-Dealer of Record)

In September 2002, NASD issued Notice to Members (NtM) 02-57 addressing when a member firm can use "negative response letters" for the bulk transfer of customer accounts, consistent with NASD rules. Since the publication of NtM 02-57, the staff has received a number of inquiries from the membership for guidance on the use of negative response letters to change the "broker-dealer of record" (hereinafter, BD of record) on a mutual fund or variable insurance product account held directly with the issuer. As indicated in NtM 02-57, changes in BD of record under these circumstances fall outside the scope of NtM 02-57. Accordingly, a member must obtain affirmative consent from a customer to direct a change in the BD of record in either a mutual fund or variable annuity account.

Questions concerning this Notice may be directed to Patricia M. Albrecht, Assistant General Counsel, Office of General Counsel, Regulatory Policy and Oversight, at (202) 728-8026.