What Is National Market System Plan (NMSP)?

A national market system plan (NMSP) is a nationwide system used for the selection and reservation of securities symbols on market exchanges. An NMSP is also used for the collection, processing, and distribution of quotation and transaction information for exchange-listed securities.

BREAKING DOWN National Market System Plan (NMSP)

The U.S. National Market System Plan consists of several components. The U.S. National Market System Plan and its individual components are governed by section 11A of the 1934 Securities Exchange Act.

The three most notable individual components of the U.S. NMSP include the following:

  • The Intermarket Symbol Reservation Authority or ISRA Plan: ISRA was established to help improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the U.S. NMSP overall. It also seeks to allow for and encourage fair competition among all participants. ISRA’s primary purpose is to manage a uniform system for selecting, reserving, and administrating securities symbols for individual securities. Through the ISRA, securities are assigned a one- to five-character symbol which serves as their identifier for listing and trading activity.
  • Consolidated Tape System (CTS)/Consolidated Quotation System (CQS): The Consolidated Tape Association is the manager of the Consolidated Tape System and the Consolidated Quotation System. These two systems serve the financial markets through the processing of trade and quote data respectively. Participants include the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE American, Nasdaq, and nearly all of the U.S. regional exchanges. The CTS and CQS also provide services for option market exchanges.
  • OTC UTP Plan: The UTP Plan focuses on trade and quote processing for over the counter (OTC) securities, also known as unlisted. Similar to the CTS and CQS, UTP consolidates and processes trade and quote data on OTC securities for transaction processing and quote dissemination. UTP Plan data is referred to as UTP Level 1 data or Tape C data. This data encompasses feeds from OTC securities.