12 CFR § 220.118 - Time of payment for mutual fund shares purchased in a special cash account.
(a) The Board has recently considered the question whether, in connection with the purchase of mutual fund shares in a “special cash account” under the provisions of this part 220, the 7-day period with respect to liquidation for nonpayment is that described in § 220.4(c)(2) or that described in § 220.4(c)(3).
(b) Section 220.4(c)(2) provides as follows:
In case a customer purchases a security (other than an exempted security) in the special cash account and does not make full cash payment for the security within 7 days after the date on which the security is so purchased, the creditor shall, except as provided in subparagraphs (3)–(7) of this paragraph, promptly cancel or otherwise liquidate the transaction or the unsettled portion thereof.
If the security when so purchased is an unissued security, the period applicable to the transaction under subparagraph (2) of this paragraph shall be 7 days after the date on which the security is made available by the issuer for delivery to purchasers.
(c) In the case presented, the shares of the mutual fund (open-end investment company) are technically not issued at the time they are sold by the underwriter and distributor. Several days may elapse from the date of sale before a certificate can be delivered by the transfer agent. The specific inquiry to the Board was, in effect, whether the 7-day period after which a purchase transaction must be liquidated or cancelled for nonpayment should run, in the case of mutual fund shares, from the time when a certificate for the purchased shares is available for delivery to the purchaser, instead of from the date of the purchase.
(d) Under the general rule of § 220.4 (c)(2) that is applicable to purchases of outstanding securities, the 7-day period runs from the date of purchase without regard to the time required for the mechanical acts of transfer of ownership and delivery of a certificate. This rule is based on the principles governing the use of special cash accounts in accordance with which, in the absence of special circumstances, payment is to be made promptly upon the purchase of securities.
(e) The purpose of § 220.4(c)(3) is to recognize the fact that, when an issue of securities is to be issued at some fixed future date, a security that is a part of such issue can be purchased on a “when-issued” basis and that payment may reasonably be delayed until after such date of issue, subject to other basic conditions for transactions in a special cash account. Thus, unissued securities should be regarded as “made available for delivery to purchasers” on the date when they are substantially as available as outstanding securities are available upon purchase, and this would ordinarily be the designated date of issuance or, in the case of a stock dividend, the “payment date”. In any case, the time required for the mechanics of transfer and delivery of a certificate is not material under § 220.4(c)(3) any more than it is under § 220.4(c)(2).
(f) Mutual fund shares are essentially available upon purchase to the same extent as outstanding securities. The mechanics of their issuance and of the delivery of certificates are not significantly different from the mechanics of transfer and delivery of certificates for shares of outstanding securities, and the issuance of mutual fund shares is not a future event in a sense that would warrant the extension of the time for payment beyond that afforded in the case of outstanding securities. Consequently, the Board has concluded that a purchase of mutual fund shares is not a purchase of an “unissued security” to which § 220.4(c)(3) applies, but is a transaction to which § 220.4(c)(2) applies.