2020-14755. 30 Day Notice-Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request  

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    Upon Written Request, Copies Available From: Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of FOIA Services, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-2736


    Rule 482 SEC File No. 270-508, OMB Control No. 3235-0565

    Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) (“Paperwork Reduction Act”), the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) a request for extension of the previously approved collection of information discussed below.

    Like most issuers of securities, when an investment company (“fund”) [1] offers its shares to the public, its promotional efforts become subject to the advertising restrictions of the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U.S.C. 77) (the “Securities Act”). In recognition of the particular problems faced by funds that continually offer securities and wish to advertise their securities, the Commission has previously adopted advertising safe harbor rules. The most important of these is rule 482 (17 CFR 230.482) under the Securities Act, which, under certain circumstances, permits funds to advertise investment performance data, as well as other information. Rule 482 advertisements are deemed to be “prospectuses” under Section 10(b) of the Securities Act (15 U.S.C. 77j(b)).

    Rule 482 contains certain requirements regarding the disclosure that funds are required to provide in qualifying advertisements. These requirements are intended to encourage the provision to investors of information that is balanced and informative, particularly in the area of investment performance. For example, a fund is required to include disclosure advising investors to consider the fund's investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses, and other information described in the fund's prospectus, and highlighting the availability of the fund's prospectus and, if applicable, its summary prospectus. In addition, rule 482 advertisements that include performance data of open-end funds or insurance company separate accounts offering variable annuity contracts are required to include certain standardized performance information, information about any sales loads or other nonrecurring fees, and a legend warning that past performance does not guarantee future results. Such funds including performance information in rule 482 advertisements are also required to make available to investors month-end performance figures via website disclosure or by a toll-free telephone number, and to disclose the availability of the month-end performance data in the advertisement. The rule also sets forth requirements regarding the prominence of certain disclosures, requirements regarding advertisements that make tax representations, requirements regarding advertisements used prior to the effectiveness of the fund's registration statement, requirements regarding the timeliness of performance data, and certain required disclosures by money market funds.

    Rule 482 advertisements must be filed with the Commission or, in the alternative, with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”).[2] This information collection differs from many other federal information collections that are primarily for the use and benefit of the collecting agency.

    Rule 482 contains requirements that are intended to encourage the provision to investors of information that is balanced and informative, particularly in the area of investment performance. The Commission is concerned that in the absence of such provisions fund investors may be misled by deceptive rule 482 advertisements and may rely on less-than-adequate information when determining in which funds they should invest money. As a result, the Commission believes it is beneficial for funds to provide investors with balanced information in fund advertisements in order to allow investors to make better-informed decisions.

    The Commission estimates that 41,265 [3] responses to rule 482 are filed annually by 2,877 investment companies offering approximately 12,476 portfolios, or approximately 3.3 responses per portfolio annually.[4] The burden associated with rule 482 is presently estimated to be 5.16 hours per response. The annual hourly burden is therefore approximately 212,927 hours.[5]

    The estimate of average burden hours is made solely for the purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act and is not derived from a comprehensive or even a representative survey or study of the Start Printed Page 41655costs of Commission rules and forms. The provision of information under rule 482 is necessary to obtain the benefits of the safe harbor offered by the rule. The information provided under rule 482 will not be kept confidential. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    The public may view background documentation for this information collection at the following website: www.reginfo.gov. Find this particular information collection by selecting “Currently under 30-day Review—Open for Public Comments” or by using the search function. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to (i) www.reginfo.gov/​public/​do/​PRAMain and (ii) David Bottom, Director/Chief Information Officer, Securities and Exchange Commission, c/o Cynthia Roscoe, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549, or by sending an email to: PRA_Mailbox@sec.gov.

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    Dated: July 2, 2020.

    J. Matthew DeLesDernier,

    Assistant Secretary.

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    1.  “Investment company” refers to both investment companies registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (“Investment Company Act”) (15 U.S.C. 80a-1 et seq.) and business development companies.

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    2.  See note to rule 482(h) under the Securities Act, which states that “these advertisements, unless filed with [FINRA], are required to be filed in accordance with the requirements of § 230.497.” See also rule 24b-3 under the Investment Company Act (17 CFR 270.24b-3), which provides that any sales material, including rule 482 advertisements, shall be deemed filed with the Commission for purposes of Section 24(b) of the Investment Company Act upon filing with FINRA.

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    3.  This estimated number of responses to rule 482 is composed of 41,003 responses filed with FINRA and 262 responses filed with the Commission in 2019.

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    4.  41,265 responses ÷ 12,476 portfolios = 3.3 responses per portfolio.

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    5.  41,265 responses × 5.16 hours per response = 212,927 hours.

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    [FR Doc. 2020-14755 Filed 7-9-20; 8:45 am]

    BILLING CODE 8011-01-P

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Securities and Exchange Commission
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41654-41655 (2 pages)
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