More than half of the Public Securities Association's regional member firms are observing the trade groups' voluntary moratorium on campaign contributions, the PSA said Monday.
In a statement, PSA president Heather Ruth said that while the group is not tracking which firms are following the recommendation for a moratorium, "based on information volunteered in conversations with regional members, we judge that more than half have instituted some from of moratorium until the [Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board] rule is resolved."
On Aug. 30, the MSRB proposed a two-pronged rule that would bar contributions by underwriters aimed at obtaining or retaining an issuer's business. It also would require dealers to report to the MSRB all political contributions made to issuers with whom they do business.
Ruth also said that most of the firms not now complying are "actively considering" the PSA's recommendation.
The call for a moratorium on contributions was discussed at the PSA's regional roundtable program in Chicago late last week, according to James Frein, vice chairman of Chicago-based Hutchinson, Shockey, Erley & Co., and chairman of the PSA's regional advisory committee.
Frein said the most officials said they were going along with the moratorium or were considering adhering to it. He said only two firms "were dead set against it."
Regional firms make up about two-thirds of the PSA's 300-firm membership.
In other news, McLiney & Co., a regional dealer in Kansas City, Mo., said on Monday that it would abide by a voluntary ban on political contributions, which was announced earlier in the day at the Securities and Exchange Commission's headquarters in Washington.
A group of Wall Street executives representing 17 firms initially agreed to the voluntary ban announced by SEC chairman Arthur Levitt Jr.
George McLiney, chief executive officer of the regional firm, said of the voluntary ban, "Why not."