WASHINGTON, Jan. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which maintains a special reserve fund authorized by Congress to help investors at failed brokerage firms, today announced the launch of its new website, which has been completely redesigned with investors, financial professionals, and regulators in mind.
New sections of the site assist the public in understanding more about what SIPC is and does and how the claims process works. For those involved in a liquidation proceeding, the upgraded site includes graphical representations of case deadlines, and additional case data.
A new search engine allows user to search the entire site and delivers more targeted, relevant results and content. In order to provide the best user experience possible, the new site incorporates up-to-date best practices in design, information architecture, usability, and mobile and interactive development. To reflect the shift to mobile devices and tablets in recent years, the site is more accessible on handheld devices and will reformat to fit any screen.
SIPC President Stephen Harbeck said: "We at SIPC have always been committed to making sure the general public, and specifically investors, are educated about what we are and what we do to ensure all customers of a failed brokerage firm know where to turn in the event assets are missing. Our new site makes this information even more accessible and easy to understand not just for investors but also for our members, other financial services professionals and legislators. It was developed with feedback from a variety of audiences and we hope to continue the dialogue to ensure the site continues to best meet the needs of all users."
SIPC is a congressionally chartered organization. In order to ensure maximum accessibility, the new website follows the Digital Government Strategy (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/egov/digital-government/digital-government.html), which guides federal agencies in how to deliver better digital services to any device, at any time and any location.
The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (http://www.sipc.org) is the U.S. investor's first line of defense in the event of the failure of a brokerage firm owing customers 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 for customer cash and/or securities held in custody with the broker for up to a maximum of $500,000 per customer. This figure includes a maximum of $250,000 on claims for cash. From the time Congress created it in 1970 through December 2012, SIPC has advanced $ 2.1 billion in order to make possible the recovery of $ 120.7 billion in assets for an estimated 770,000 investors.
SOURCE Securities Investor Protection Corporation, Washington, D.C.