Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Changes and Amendment No. 1 thereto to Rules 601, 607, 612 and 629 Relating to Single Arbitrators for Claims not Exceeding $200,000, 78499-78501 [E6-22401]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 250 / Friday, December 29, 2006 / Notices (ii) as to which the Exchange consents, the Commission will: (A) By order approve such proposed rule change, or (B) Institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved. For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.6 Florence E. Harmon, Deputy Secretary. [FR Doc. E6–22399 Filed 12–28–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011–01–P 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. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods: Electronic Comments pwalker on PROD1PC69 with NOTICES • Use the Commission’s Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/ rules/sro.shtml); or • Send an e-mail to rulecomments@sec.gov. Please include File Number SR–NYSE–2006–109 on the subject line. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34–54982; File No. SR–NYSE– 2006–61] Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Changes and Amendment No. 1 thereto to Rules 601, 607, 612 and 629 Relating to Single Arbitrators for Claims not Exceeding $200,000 December 20, 2006. Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the ‘‘Act’’),1 and Rule 19b–4 2 thereunder, notice is hereby given that on July 13, Paper Comments 2006, the New York Stock Exchange • Send paper comments in triplicate LLC (‘‘NYSE’’ or the ‘‘Exchange’’) filed to Nancy M. Morris, Secretary, with the Securities and Exchange Securities and Exchange Commission, Commission (‘‘Commission’’) the Station Place, 100 F Street, NE., proposed rule change as described in Washington, DC 20549–1090. Items I, II, and III below, which Items All submissions should refer to File have been prepared by the NYSE. On Number SR–NYSE–2006–109. This file December 19, 2006, the NYSE filed number should be included on the Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule subject line if e-mail is used. To help the change (‘‘Amendment No. 1’’).3 The Commission process and review your Commission is publishing this notice to comments more efficiently, please use solicit comments on the proposed rule only one method. The Commission will change, as amended, from interested post all comments on the Commission’s persons. Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/ I. Self-Regulatory Organization’s rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the Statement of the Terms of Substance of submission, all subsequent the Proposed Rule Change amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule Under the proposed rule change, change that are filed with the matters in controversy involving Commission, and all written customer or non-member claims not communications relating to the exceeding $200,000 (excluding costs proposed rule change between the and interest) would be decided by one Commission and any person, other than public arbitrator, unless the customer or non-member requests that the matter be those that may be withheld from the decided by one securities industry public in accordance with the arbitrator.4 In addition, the proposed provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be rule change would reduce several available for inspection and copying in the Commission’s Public Reference 6 17 CFR 200.30–3(a)(12). Room. Copies of such filing also will be 1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1). available for inspection and copying at 2 17 CFR 240.19b–4. the principal office of the Exchange. All 3 In Amendment No. 1, which supplemented the comments received will be posted original filing, the Exchange provided more without change; the Commission does information regarding the proposed amendments to certain arbitration fees and hearing deposits, and not edit personal identifying clarified certain aspects of the rule filing. information from submissions. You 4 NYSE stated that approximately one-third of should submit only information that NYSE arbitration matters since 2002 have involved you wish to make available publicly. All claims of less than $200,000. Telephone conversation among Karen Kupersmith, Director of submissions should refer to File Arbitration, NYSE; Lourdes Gonzalez, Assistant Number SR–NYSE–2006–109 and Chief Counsel—Sales Practices, Commission; and should be submitted on or before Michael Hershaft, Special Counsel, Commission January 19, 2007. (Dec. 20, 2006). VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:15 Dec 28, 2006 Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00105 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 78499 customers’ fees and hearing deposits for matters involving one arbitrator. The text of the proposed rule change, as amended, is available on the NYSE’s Web site (http://www.NYSE.com), at the NYSE’s principal office, and at the Commission’s Public Reference Room. II. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change In its filing with the Commission, the NYSE included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The NYSE has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements. A. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose The NYSE is proposing to amend Rules 601 (Simplified Arbitration), 607 (Appointment of Arbitrators), 612 (Initiation of Proceedings), and 629 (Schedule of Fees). As described in more detail below, the proposed amendments would provide that all arbitration matters involving customers or non-members not exceeding $25,000 would be resolved on the papers (i.e., without a hearing) by one public arbitrator or, upon request of the customer or non-member, by one securities industry arbitrator. The customer or non-member also could demand or consent to a hearing for matters not exceeding $25,000. In addition, all arbitration matters involving customers or non-members exceeding $25,000, but not exceeding $200,000 (excluding costs and interest), would be heard by one public arbitrator at a hearing, unless the customer or nonmember requests that the matter be heard by one securities industry arbitrator. The proposed amendments would clarify that, to the extent the rules provide for a choice in panel composition or method of arbitrator appointment, the customer’s choice prevails.5 Finally, the proposed amendments also would reduce several fees and hearing deposits for matters heard by one arbitrator. 5 In arbitration matters involving non-members and members, but not customers, the non-member’s choice prevails. See NYSE Rules 607(a)(1) and 607(c)(2)(i)(a)–(b). E:\FR\FM\29DEN1.SGM 29DEN1 78500 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 250 / Friday, December 29, 2006 / Notices pwalker on PROD1PC69 with NOTICES Simplified Arbitration NYSE Rule 601 currently provides that any dispute, claim or controversy between a customer and an associated person or a member not exceeding $25,000 is resolved by one public arbitrator on the papers, unless the customer requests or consents to a hearing, or the arbitrator calls a hearing.6 If the respondent files a related counterclaim exceeding $25,000, the arbitrator may refer the claim, counterclaim and/or a third-party claim to a panel of three arbitrators.7 The arbitrator also may dismiss the counterclaim and/or third-party claim, without prejudice to the counterclaimants and/or third-party claimants pursuing their claims in a separate proceeding. The proposal would amend NYSE Rules 601(a) and 601(f) to provide that all arbitration matters involving customers or non-members not exceeding $25,000 would be resolved by one public arbitrator on the papers, unless the customer or non-member demands or consents to a hearing, or the arbitrator calls a hearing. The proposed amendments to NYSE Rule 601(f) also would clarify that the customer or nonmember may request that the matter be resolved by one securities industry arbitrator. The proposal also would amend NYSE Rule 601(d)(2) to provide that if the respondent files a related counterclaim or third-party claim exceeding $25,000 but not exceeding $200,000, any party or the arbitrator may request a hearing before one arbitrator. If the respondent files a related counterclaim or third-party claim exceeding $200,000, the proposed amendments to NYSE Rule 601(d)(2) would provide that the arbitrator may refer the claim, counterclaim and/or third-party claim to a panel of three arbitrators pursuant to NYSE Rule 607. Under the proposed amendments to Rule 601(d)(2), the arbitrator also may dismiss the counterclaim and/or thirdparty claim, without prejudice to the counterclaimants and/or third-party claimants pursuing their claims in a separate proceeding. The proposed amendments to the ‘‘Fees for Simplified Arbitration, Industry as Claimant’’ Schedule in NYSE Rule 601 would reduce the hearing deposit that members, member firms, member corporations, or allied members and non-members pay for claims not exceeding $25,000. Specifically, the proposed amendments 6 NYSE 7 NYSE Rule 601(f). Rule 601(d). VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:15 Dec 28, 2006 would reduce the hearing deposit from $600 to $450 when the industry is a claimant and the decision is made after a hearing. The filing fee ($500) and fee for a decision on the papers ($300) would not be changed under the proposal. Appointment of Arbitrators NYSE Rule 607(a)(1) currently provides that in all matters involving customers or non-members where the matter in controversy exceeds $25,000 or where the matter in controversy does not involve or disclose a money claim, the Director of Arbitration appoints a panel of three arbitrators, a majority of whom are public, unless the customer or non-member requests that a majority be from the securities industry. The proposed amendments to NYSE Rule 607(a)(1)(i) would provide that all arbitration matters involving customers or non-members where the matter in controversy exceeds $25,000, but does not exceed $200,000 (excluding costs and interest), would be heard by one public arbitrator, unless the customer or non-member requests a securities industry arbitrator. Under the proposed amendments to NYSE Rule 607(a)(1)(ii), all arbitration matters involving customers or nonmembers where the matter in controversy exceeds $200,000 would be heard by three arbitrators, a majority of whom would be public, unless the customer or non-member requests that a majority be from the securities industry. The proposed amendments also would add a new paragraph (2) to NYSE Rule 607(b) which would clarify that, in all arbitration matters involving customers or non-members, to the extent the NYSE arbitration rules provide for a choice in panel composition or method of arbitrator appointment, the customer’s choice would prevail.8 Initiation of Proceedings Current NYSE Rule 612 sets forth the procedures for initiating a customer or non-member arbitration proceeding that is not being filed under NYSE Rule 601, which governs Simplified Arbitration. The proposed amendments to NYSE Rule 612 are intended to conform that rule with the proposed changes to NYSE Rules 601 and 607. In particular, the proposed amendments to NYSE Rule 612(c)(1) would provide that in matters exceeding $25,000, but not exceeding $200,000, if the respondent(s) files a related counterclaim, third-party claim, or cross-claim exceeding $200,000, the arbitrator may refer the claim, 8 See Jkt 211001 PO 00000 footnote 5. Frm 00106 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 counterclaim, third-party claim, and/or cross-claim, to a panel of three arbitrators in accordance with Rule 607. The arbitrator also may dismiss the counterclaim, third-party claim, and/or cross-claim without prejudice to the counterclaimants, third-party claimants, and/or cross-claimants pursuing their claims in a separate proceeding pursuant to the proposed amendments to NYSE Rule 612(c)(1). Schedule of Fees NYSE Rule 629 sets forth the required fees and hearing deposits for arbitrations in the NYSE arbitration forum. The proposed amendments to NYSE Rule 629 would reduce the fees and hearing deposits that customers, members, and non-members pay for claims exceeding $25,000 and not exceeding $200,000, to reflect the reduced costs associated with a hearing by one arbitrator, rather than three. The proposed amendments to the schedules contained in NYSE Rules 629(c)(1)–(2) and 629(i) would reduce the hearing deposits to $450 from a maximum of $750 under the existing rule. In Amendment No. 1, the NYSE stated that it is proposing to reduce fees and hearing deposits because the costs of administering an arbitration matter with one arbitrator is less than the costs associated with three arbitrators. In cases with one arbitrator, the proposed fees and hearing deposits are based on either the current hearing deposit or the fee charged for a pre-hearing conference with one arbitrator, whichever is less. The NYSE also notes in Amendment No. 1 that the costs associated with a pre-hearing conference, generally conducted either on the papers submitted or by telephone, are less than those associated with an in-person hearing. In Amendment No. 1, the NYSE stated that the proposed fees and hearing deposits are intended to permit the NYSE to recover some of its direct, actual costs of administering arbitration cases. The NYSE further stated that those direct, actual costs are attributable in part to arbitrator compensation and travel expenses, court reporters and (when a hearing takes place outside New York) conference rooms. The NYSE also stated in Amendment No. 1 that under the proposed rule changes, the actual costs it bears for administering arbitration hearings involving a single arbitrator would remain greater than fees paid by customers or non-members. Statutory Basis The NYSE stated that it believes that the proposed rule change is consistent E:\FR\FM\29DEN1.SGM 29DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 250 / Friday, December 29, 2006 / Notices with Section 6(b)(4) 9 of the Act requiring exchanges to have rules that provide for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees, and other charges among its members and other persons using its facilities, and Section 6(b)(5) 10 of the Act requiring exchanges to have rules designed to protect investors and the public interest. B. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement on Burden on Competition The NYSE does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The NYSE has neither solicited nor received written comments on the proposed rule change. III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action Within 35 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period (i) as the Commission may designate up to 90 days of such date if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the self-regulatory organization consents, the Commission will: (A) By order approve the proposed rule change, or (B) Institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved. pwalker on PROD1PC69 with NOTICES IV. Solicitation of Comments Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change, as amended, is consistent with the Act. The proposed rule change, as amended, is based on, but not identical to, the Uniform Code of Arbitration (‘‘SICA Uniform Code’’) adopted by the Securities Industry Conference on Arbitration (‘‘SICA’’). The Commission requests comments on the differences between the NYSE proposal and the SICA Uniform Code. In particular, under SICA Uniform Code Section 16(a), one arbitrator hears claims up to $100,000; whereas the NYSE proposes that one arbitrator would hear claims not exceeding $200,000. Should NYSE’s proposed rule U.S.C. 78f(b)(4). U.S.C. 78f(b)(5). 10 15 VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:15 Dec 28, 2006 Jkt 211001 Electronic Comments • Use the Commission’s Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/ rules/sro.shtml); or • Send e-mail to rulecomments@sec.gov. Please include File Number SR–NYSE–2006–61 on the subject line. C. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants or Others 9 15 be consistent with the SICA Uniform Code and only permit matters to be resolved by one arbitrator if they involve claims of $100,000 or less? In the alternative, should customers or non-members be able to request one arbitrator for claims exceeding $200,000? In addition, the SICA Uniform Code does not contain provisions similar to the amendments proposed to NYSE Rules 601(d)(2) and 612(c)(1), as discussed above Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods: 78501 For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.11 Florence E. Harmon, Deputy Secretary. [FR Doc. E6–22401 Filed 12–28–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011–01–P SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34–54997; File No. SR– NYSEArca–2006–77] Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Reflect the Trading Sessions and Trading Halt Procedures for Certain Securities Trading on NYSE Arca, LLC December 21, 2006. Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (‘‘Act’’) 1 and Rule 19b–4 thereunder,2 Paper Comments notice is hereby given that on December • Send paper comments in triplicate 20, 2006, NYSE Arca, Inc. (‘‘NYSE Arca’’ or ‘‘Exchange’’) through its to Nancy M. Morris, Secretary, wholly owned subsidiary NYSE Arca Securities and Exchange Commission, Equities, Inc. (‘‘NYSE Arca Equities’’), 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC filed with the Securities and Exchange 20549–1090. Commission (‘‘Commission’’) the All submissions should refer to File proposed rule change as described in Number SR–NYSE–2006–61. This file Items I and II below, which Items have number should be included on the been substantially prepared by the subject line if e-mail is used. To help the Exchange. The Exchange filed the Commission process and review your proposal pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) comments more efficiently, please use of the Act 3 and Rule 19b–4(f)(6) only one method. The Commission will thereunder,4 which renders the proposal post all comments on the Commission’s effective upon filing with the Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/ Commission. rules/sro/shtml). Copies of the I. Self-Regulatory Organization’s submission, all subsequent Statement of the Terms of Substance of amendments, all written statements the Proposed Rule Change with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the The Exchange, through NYSE Arca Commission, and all written Equities, is proposing to amend NYSE communications relating to the Arca Equities Rule 7.34 to reflect the proposed rule change between the trading sessions during which certain Commission and any person, other than securities are eligible to trade on NYSE Arca, LLC (‘‘NYSE Arca Marketplace’’), those that may be withheld from the the equities facility of NYSE Arca public in accordance with the Equities, and to provide that the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be Exchange shall maintain a list on its available for inspection and copying in Internet Web site that identifies all the Commission’s Public Reference Room. Copies of such filing also will be securities traded on the NYSE Arca Marketplace that do not trade for the available for inspection and copying at duration of each of the three trading the principal office of the NYSE. All sessions specified in this rule. The text comments received will be posted of the proposed rule change is available without change; the Commission does on the Exchange’s Web site (http:// not edit personal identifying www.nysearca.com/regulations/rules), information from submissions. You should submit only information that 11 17 CFR 200.30–3(a)(12). you wish to make available publicly. All 1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1). submissions should refer to File number 2 17 CFR 240.19b–4. SR–NYSE–2006–61 and should be 3 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A). submitted on or before January 19, 2007. 4 17 CFR 240.19b–4(f)(6). PO 00000 Frm 00107 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\29DEN1.SGM 29DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 250 (Friday, December 29, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 78499-78501]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-22401]


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SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

[Release No. 34-54982; File No. SR-NYSE-2006-61]


Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; 
Notice of Filing of Proposed Changes and Amendment No. 1 thereto to 
Rules 601, 607, 612 and 629 Relating to Single Arbitrators for Claims 
not Exceeding $200,000

December 20, 2006.
    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 
(the ``Act''),\1\ and Rule 19b-4 \2\ thereunder, notice is hereby given 
that on July 13, 2006, the New York Stock Exchange LLC (``NYSE'' or the 
``Exchange'') filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission 
(``Commission'') the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, 
and III below, which Items have been prepared by the NYSE. On December 
19, 2006, the NYSE filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change 
(``Amendment No. 1'').\3\ The Commission is publishing this notice to 
solicit comments on the proposed rule change, as amended, from 
interested persons.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).
    \2\ 17 CFR 240.19b-4.
    \3\ In Amendment No. 1, which supplemented the original filing, 
the Exchange provided more information regarding the proposed 
amendments to certain arbitration fees and hearing deposits, and 
clarified certain aspects of the rule filing.
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I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance 
of the Proposed Rule Change

    Under the proposed rule change, matters in controversy involving 
customer or non-member claims not exceeding $200,000 (excluding costs 
and interest) would be decided by one public arbitrator, unless the 
customer or non-member requests that the matter be decided by one 
securities industry arbitrator.\4\ In addition, the proposed rule 
change would reduce several customers' fees and hearing deposits for 
matters involving one arbitrator. The text of the proposed rule change, 
as amended, is available on the NYSE's Web site (http://www.NYSE.com), 
at the NYSE's principal office, and at the Commission's Public 
Reference Room.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ NYSE stated that approximately one-third of NYSE arbitration 
matters since 2002 have involved claims of less than $200,000. 
Telephone conversation among Karen Kupersmith, Director of 
Arbitration, NYSE; Lourdes Gonzalez, Assistant Chief Counsel--Sales 
Practices, Commission; and Michael Hershaft, Special Counsel, 
Commission (Dec. 20, 2006).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and 
Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the NYSE included statements 
concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change. The 
text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in 
Item IV below. The NYSE has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections 
A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and 
Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

1. Purpose
    The NYSE is proposing to amend Rules 601 (Simplified Arbitration), 
607 (Appointment of Arbitrators), 612 (Initiation of Proceedings), and 
629 (Schedule of Fees). As described in more detail below, the proposed 
amendments would provide that all arbitration matters involving 
customers or non-members not exceeding $25,000 would be resolved on the 
papers (i.e., without a hearing) by one public arbitrator or, upon 
request of the customer or non-member, by one securities industry 
arbitrator. The customer or non-member also could demand or consent to 
a hearing for matters not exceeding $25,000.
    In addition, all arbitration matters involving customers or non-
members exceeding $25,000, but not exceeding $200,000 (excluding costs 
and interest), would be heard by one public arbitrator at a hearing, 
unless the customer or non-member requests that the matter be heard by 
one securities industry arbitrator. The proposed amendments would 
clarify that, to the extent the rules provide for a choice in panel 
composition or method of arbitrator appointment, the customer's choice 
prevails.\5\ Finally, the proposed amendments also would reduce several 
fees and hearing deposits for matters heard by one arbitrator.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ In arbitration matters involving non-members and members, 
but not customers, the non-member's choice prevails. See NYSE Rules 
607(a)(1) and 607(c)(2)(i)(a)-(b).

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[[Page 78500]]

Simplified Arbitration

    NYSE Rule 601 currently provides that any dispute, claim or 
controversy between a customer and an associated person or a member not 
exceeding $25,000 is resolved by one public arbitrator on the papers, 
unless the customer requests or consents to a hearing, or the 
arbitrator calls a hearing.\6\ If the respondent files a related 
counterclaim exceeding $25,000, the arbitrator may refer the claim, 
counterclaim and/or a third-party claim to a panel of three 
arbitrators.\7\ The arbitrator also may dismiss the counterclaim and/or 
third-party claim, without prejudice to the counterclaimants and/or 
third-party claimants pursuing their claims in a separate proceeding.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ NYSE Rule 601(f).
    \7\ NYSE Rule 601(d).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The proposal would amend NYSE Rules 601(a) and 601(f) to provide 
that all arbitration matters involving customers or non-members not 
exceeding $25,000 would be resolved by one public arbitrator on the 
papers, unless the customer or non-member demands or consents to a 
hearing, or the arbitrator calls a hearing. The proposed amendments to 
NYSE Rule 601(f) also would clarify that the customer or non-member may 
request that the matter be resolved by one securities industry 
arbitrator.
    The proposal also would amend NYSE Rule 601(d)(2) to provide that 
if the respondent files a related counterclaim or third-party claim 
exceeding $25,000 but not exceeding $200,000, any party or the 
arbitrator may request a hearing before one arbitrator. If the 
respondent files a related counterclaim or third-party claim exceeding 
$200,000, the proposed amendments to NYSE Rule 601(d)(2) would provide 
that the arbitrator may refer the claim, counterclaim and/or third-
party claim to a panel of three arbitrators pursuant to NYSE Rule 607. 
Under the proposed amendments to Rule 601(d)(2), the arbitrator also 
may dismiss the counterclaim and/or third-party claim, without 
prejudice to the counterclaimants and/or third-party claimants pursuing 
their claims in a separate proceeding.
    The proposed amendments to the ``Fees for Simplified Arbitration, 
Industry as Claimant'' Schedule in NYSE Rule 601 would reduce the 
hearing deposit that members, member firms, member corporations, or 
allied members and non-members pay for claims not exceeding $25,000. 
Specifically, the proposed amendments would reduce the hearing deposit 
from $600 to $450 when the industry is a claimant and the decision is 
made after a hearing. The filing fee ($500) and fee for a decision on 
the papers ($300) would not be changed under the proposal.

Appointment of Arbitrators

    NYSE Rule 607(a)(1) currently provides that in all matters 
involving customers or non-members where the matter in controversy 
exceeds $25,000 or where the matter in controversy does not involve or 
disclose a money claim, the Director of Arbitration appoints a panel of 
three arbitrators, a majority of whom are public, unless the customer 
or non-member requests that a majority be from the securities industry. 
The proposed amendments to NYSE Rule 607(a)(1)(i) would provide that 
all arbitration matters involving customers or non-members where the 
matter in controversy exceeds $25,000, but does not exceed $200,000 
(excluding costs and interest), would be heard by one public 
arbitrator, unless the customer or non-member requests a securities 
industry arbitrator.
    Under the proposed amendments to NYSE Rule 607(a)(1)(ii), all 
arbitration matters involving customers or non-members where the matter 
in controversy exceeds $200,000 would be heard by three arbitrators, a 
majority of whom would be public, unless the customer or non-member 
requests that a majority be from the securities industry.
    The proposed amendments also would add a new paragraph (2) to NYSE 
Rule 607(b) which would clarify that, in all arbitration matters 
involving customers or non-members, to the extent the NYSE arbitration 
rules provide for a choice in panel composition or method of arbitrator 
appointment, the customer's choice would prevail.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ See footnote 5.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Initiation of Proceedings

    Current NYSE Rule 612 sets forth the procedures for initiating a 
customer or non-member arbitration proceeding that is not being filed 
under NYSE Rule 601, which governs Simplified Arbitration. The proposed 
amendments to NYSE Rule 612 are intended to conform that rule with the 
proposed changes to NYSE Rules 601 and 607. In particular, the proposed 
amendments to NYSE Rule 612(c)(1) would provide that in matters 
exceeding $25,000, but not exceeding $200,000, if the respondent(s) 
files a related counterclaim, third-party claim, or cross-claim 
exceeding $200,000, the arbitrator may refer the claim, counterclaim, 
third-party claim, and/or cross-claim, to a panel of three arbitrators 
in accordance with Rule 607. The arbitrator also may dismiss the 
counterclaim, third-party claim, and/or cross-claim without prejudice 
to the counterclaimants, third-party claimants, and/or cross-claimants 
pursuing their claims in a separate proceeding pursuant to the proposed 
amendments to NYSE Rule 612(c)(1).

Schedule of Fees

    NYSE Rule 629 sets forth the required fees and hearing deposits for 
arbitrations in the NYSE arbitration forum. The proposed amendments to 
NYSE Rule 629 would reduce the fees and hearing deposits that 
customers, members, and non-members pay for claims exceeding $25,000 
and not exceeding $200,000, to reflect the reduced costs associated 
with a hearing by one arbitrator, rather than three. The proposed 
amendments to the schedules contained in NYSE Rules 629(c)(1)-(2) and 
629(i) would reduce the hearing deposits to $450 from a maximum of $750 
under the existing rule.
    In Amendment No. 1, the NYSE stated that it is proposing to reduce 
fees and hearing deposits because the costs of administering an 
arbitration matter with one arbitrator is less than the costs 
associated with three arbitrators. In cases with one arbitrator, the 
proposed fees and hearing deposits are based on either the current 
hearing deposit or the fee charged for a pre-hearing conference with 
one arbitrator, whichever is less. The NYSE also notes in Amendment No. 
1 that the costs associated with a pre-hearing conference, generally 
conducted either on the papers submitted or by telephone, are less than 
those associated with an in-person hearing.
    In Amendment No. 1, the NYSE stated that the proposed fees and 
hearing deposits are intended to permit the NYSE to recover some of its 
direct, actual costs of administering arbitration cases. The NYSE 
further stated that those direct, actual costs are attributable in part 
to arbitrator compensation and travel expenses, court reporters and 
(when a hearing takes place outside New York) conference rooms. The 
NYSE also stated in Amendment No. 1 that under the proposed rule 
changes, the actual costs it bears for administering arbitration 
hearings involving a single arbitrator would remain greater than fees 
paid by customers or non-members.

Statutory Basis

    The NYSE stated that it believes that the proposed rule change is 
consistent

[[Page 78501]]

with Section 6(b)(4) \9\ of the Act requiring exchanges to have rules 
that provide for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees, and 
other charges among its members and other persons using its facilities, 
and Section 6(b)(5) \10\ of the Act requiring exchanges to have rules 
designed to protect investors and the public interest.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4).
    \10\ 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The NYSE does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose 
any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in 
furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed 
Rule Change Received From Members, Participants or Others

    The NYSE has neither solicited nor received written comments on the 
proposed rule change.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for 
Commission Action

    Within 35 days of the date of publication of this notice in the 
Federal Register or within such longer period (i) as the Commission may 
designate up to 90 days of such date if it finds such longer period to 
be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to 
which the self-regulatory organization consents, the Commission will:
    (A) By order approve the proposed rule change, or
    (B) Institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule 
change should be disapproved.

IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views and 
arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule 
change, as amended, is consistent with the Act. The proposed rule 
change, as amended, is based on, but not identical to, the Uniform Code 
of Arbitration (``SICA Uniform Code'') adopted by the Securities 
Industry Conference on Arbitration (``SICA'').
    The Commission requests comments on the differences between the 
NYSE proposal and the SICA Uniform Code. In particular, under SICA 
Uniform Code Section 16(a), one arbitrator hears claims up to $100,000; 
whereas the NYSE proposes that one arbitrator would hear claims not 
exceeding $200,000. Should NYSE's proposed rule be consistent with the 
SICA Uniform Code and only permit matters to be resolved by one 
arbitrator if they involve claims of $100,000 or less? In the 
alternative, should customers or non-members be able to request one 
arbitrator for claims exceeding $200,000? In addition, the SICA Uniform 
Code does not contain provisions similar to the amendments proposed to 
NYSE Rules 601(d)(2) and 612(c)(1), as discussed above
    Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

Electronic Comments

     Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://
www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or
     Send e-mail to rule-comments@sec.gov. Please include File 
Number SR-NYSE-2006-61 on the subject line.

Paper Comments

     Send paper comments in triplicate to Nancy M. Morris, 
Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street, NE., 
Washington, DC 20549-1090.
    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NYSE-2006-61. This 
file number should be included on the subject line if e-mail is used. 
To help the Commission process and review your comments more 
efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all 
comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/
rules/sro/shtml). 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. Copies of such 
filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the 
principal office of the NYSE. All comments received will be posted 
without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying 
information from submissions. You should submit only information that 
you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to 
File number SR-NYSE-2006-61 and should be submitted on or before 
January 19, 2007.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, 
pursuant to delegated authority.\11\
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    \11\ 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).
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Florence E. Harmon,
Deputy Secretary.
[FR Doc. E6-22401 Filed 12-28-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8011-01-P