First-Ever Online Forum Set to Solicit U.S. Public's Views About Modernization of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation
Opportunity for Investors to Speak Out Takes Place at 8 p.m. EDT on September 14, 2010
WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which maintains a special reserve fund mandated by Congress to protect the customers of insolvent brokerage firms, will hold its first-ever online forum at 8 p.m. EDT/5 p.m. PDT on September 14, 2010 at http://www.SIPCModernization.org.
The "listening post" session is the first of two major national public forums focused on soliciting input about the modernization of SIPC. The effort is part of the SIPC Modernization initiative launched on June 17, 2010. The two planned online forums are part of a full-scale review of the operations of SIPC, which has not been the focus of major new legislation in 30 years.
The input from the online forums will be reviewed by the 13-member SIPC Modernization Task Force, which is meeting in person and via the Internet to review and discuss the mission and operations of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.
SIPC Board Chairman Orlan Johnson said: "We encourage the American investing public to participate in this first major national effort to solicit views about where SIPC should go in its next 30 years. There is no substitute for real and direct public input in this process. We are hearing from the securities industry, lawyers, members of Congress, but we also want to be sure to also get the views of U.S. investors with no filters and no restrictions on what is said. In our view, comments provided directly by visitors to the SIPCModernization.org Web site and these national forums are the best way to gather the widest possible input from the largest and most geographically diverse cross-section of investors."
ABOUT THE SIPC MODERNIZATION WEB SITE
The SIPCModernization.org Web site is facilitating the widest possible range of public comments on current SIPC operations and possible changes to them. The Web site features the following elements:
- Key topics (e.g., "levels of protection") that can be commented on and rated by visitors.
- The ability for visitors to add new topics in order to express and solicit views.
- Two live, national Q&A Web forums providing an opportunity for direct interaction with SIPC Task Force members and staff.
- A national Webcast with phone and email interaction opportunities.
The topics portion of the SIPCModernization.org Web site has grown substantially since its launch in June 2010. To keep abreast of planned SIPCModernization.org events, go to http://www.SIPCModernization.org, where new information will be posted on a regular basis.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE TASK FORCE
The SIPC Modernization Task Force will present its findings, conclusions, and proposals in a written report, or possibly a series of reports, to be submitted to the SIPC board of directors. The board will review the findings, conclusions, and proposals with a view to legislative changes and other potential improvements. It is anticipated that written Task Force reports and related documents will be public, in light of investor interest and a stated interest in the project by Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski, chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises.
The Task Force is headed by SIPC's chair and vice chair. The Task Force is a diverse group, and includes representatives of the securities industry, investors, government regulators, and academia, from across the nation, as well as one international member. The Task Force is studying various topics, including corporate governance, coverage, the SIPC Fund, investor education, excess SIPC insurance, and international affairs. For a full list of Task Force members, go to http://www.sipc.org/media/release17June10.cfm.
With the assistance of consultants and SIPC staff, the Task Force is compiling data and reviewing earlier reports, identifying key issues, providing assessments, and suggesting reforms and the means to their implementation. The Task Force also is discussing any impediments to and the estimated costs of any proposed reforms to SIPC, its members, and the public.
The Securities Investor Protection Corporation is the U.S. investor's first line of defense in the event a brokerage firm fails, owing customer cash and securities that are missing from customer accounts. SIPC either acts as trustee or works with an independent court-appointed trustee in a brokerage insolvency case to recover funds.
The statute that created SIPC provides that customers of a failed brokerage firm receive all non-negotiable securities - such as stocks or bonds -- that are already registered in their names or in the process of being registered. At the same time, funds from the SIPC reserve are available to satisfy the remaining claims of each customer up to a maximum of $500,000. This figure includes a maximum of $250,000 on claims for cash. From the time Congress created it in 1970 through December 2009, SIPC has advanced $1.2 billion in order to make possible the recovery of $108 billion in assets for an estimated 763,000 investors.
SOURCE Securities Investor Protection Corporation, Washington, D.C.
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