SEC v Merrill Lynch
23 June 2016
Broker-dealers are required to be diligent stewards of the cash and securities entrusted to them by their customers. This basic principle is embodied in Exchange Act Rule 15c3-3, known as the Customer Protection Rule (“Rule”). The Rule requires broker-dealers to safeguard both the cash and securities of their customers so that customer assets can be quickly returned if the firm fails. In broad strokes, a broker-dealer cannot use customer assets to finance the business activities of the firm, and it cannot place customer assets in locations or accounts that make them vulnerable to claims made against the broker-dealer by third parties.
PDF (23 pages): SEC v Merrill Lynch