12 CFR § 220.103 - Borrowing of securities.

§ 220.103 Borrowing of securities.

(a) The Board of Governors has been asked for a ruling as to whether § 220.6(h), which deals with borrowing and lending of securities, applies to a borrower of securities if the lender is a private individual, as contrasted with a member of a national securities exchange or a broker or dealer.

(b) Section 220.6(h) does not require that the lender of the securities in such a case be a member of a national securities exchange or a broker or dealer. Therefore, a borrowing of securities may be able to qualify under the provision even though the lender is a private individual, and this is true whether the security is registered on a national securities exchange or is unregistered. In borrowing securities from a private individual under § 220.6(h), however, it becomes especially important to bear in mind two limitations that are contained in the section.

(c) The first limitation is that the section applies only if the broker borrows the securities for the purpose specified in the provision, that is, “for the purpose of making delivery of such securities in the case of short sales, failure to receive securities he is required to deliver, or other similar cases”. The present language of the provision does not require that the delivery for which the securities are borrowed must be on a transaction which the borrower has himself made, either as agent or as principal; he may borrow under the provision in order to relend to someone else for the latter person to make such a delivery. However, the borrowing must be related to an actual delivery of the type specified—a delivery in connection with a specific transaction that has already occurred or is in immediate prospect. The provision does not authorize a broker to borrow securities (or make the related deposit) merely in order that he or some other broker may have the securities “on hand” or may anticipate some need that may or may not arise in the future.

(d) The ruling in the 1940 Federal Reserve Bulletin, at page 647, is an example of a borrowing which, on the facts as given, did not meet the requirement. There, the broker wished to borrow stocks with the understanding that he “would offer to lend this stock in the ‘loan crowd’ on a national securities exchange.” There was no assurance that the stocks would be used for the purpose specified in § 220.6(h); they might be, or they might merely be held idle while the person lending the stocks had the use of the funds deposited against them. The ruling held in effect that since the borrowing could not qualify under § 220.6(h) it must comply with other applicable provisions of the regulation.

(e) The second requirement is that the deposit of cash against the borrowed securities must be “bona fide.” This requirement naturally cannot be spelled out in detail, but it requires at least that the purpose of the broker in making the deposit should be to obtain the securities for the specified purpose, and that he should not use the arrangement as a means of accommodating a customer who is seeking to obtain more funds than he could get in a general account.

(f) The Board recognizes that even with these requirements there is still some possibility that the provision may be misapplied. The Board is reluctant to impose additional burdens on legitimate transactions by tightening the provision. If there should be evidence of abuses developing under the provision, however, it would become necessary to consider making it more restricted.

[12 FR 5278, Aug. 2, 1947]