What Is the Banking and Securities Industry Committee (BASIC)?

The Banking and Securities Industry Committee (BASIC) was established in 1970 to standardize, automate, and streamline the processing of stock certificates and options. This committee sought to uphold uniform rules and regulations regarding the trading and settlement of securities. The Banking and Securities Industry Committee attempted to reduce the physical exchange of stock certificates when transferring ownership. Its efforts culminated in the creation of the Depository Trust Company.

Key Takeaways

  • The National Association of Securities Dealers, the New York Clearing House Association, the New York Stock Exchange and other major stock exchanges collaborated to form the Banking and Securities Industry Committee (BASIC) in 1970.
  • The goal of the Banking and Securities Industry Committee (BASIC) was to reduce the physical exchange of stock certificates when transferring ownership and was established in response to the paperwork crisis of the 1960s.
  • The efforts of the Banking and Securities Industry Committee led to the formation of the Depository Trust Company (DTC) in 1973, one of the world's largest depositories and an overseer of the financial system.

Understanding the Banking and Securities Industry Committee (BASIC)

The National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), the New York Clearing House Association, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and major stock exchanges collaborated to form BASIC to resolve the paperwork crisis in the securities industry resulting from the bull market of the late 1960s.

During the late 1960s, many new investors entered the stock market, leading to increased trading volumes. At that time, trading involved the physical trading of stock certificates. As a result of these trading highs–at one point during the paperwork crisis there were eight million shares traded every day–there were large amounts of paperwork involved. Investors needed a way to streamline the process and make it more efficient.

In 1973, the Bank and Securities Industry Committee formed the Depository Trust Company (DTC), located in New York City. The DTC is a member of the Federal Reserve and is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). After merging with other security clearing companies, in 1999, the Depository Trust Company became a subsidiary of the Depository Trust and Clearing Company (DTCC). Today, the DTC is one of the largest depositories in the world and serves several different functions as an overseer of the financial system.

The first role of the DTC is as an electronic recordkeeper. The DTC is the clearinghouse that processes trades in both municipal and corporate securities and also keeps an electronic record of information about securities. The DTC also provides dividend services to companies by allocating dividends from the issuing company to the shareholders. It then reports all of these payments. Last, the DTC acts as a custodian of corporate stocks and bonds, municipal bonds, and money market instruments. As a result of the DTC, the New York Stock Exchange can handle billions of trades a day and there are trillions of dollars worth of securities held in the DTC.