For Immediate Release: November 24, 2008
(St. Paul, MN…) As state securities regulators continue their efforts to assist investors who have had their funds frozen in the auction rate securities market, the Minnesota Department of Commerce today reminded auction rate securities investors of their redemption opportunities included in the settlements between securities regulators and several prominent Wall Street firms. Eleven of the largest firms have agreed in principle to repurchase more than $50 billion of auction rate securities.
"Minnesota investors should be aware that the offers to repurchase their auction rate securities are not open indefinitely," said Glenn Wilson, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce. "We urge any investor with questions about the repurchase program to contact the firm from which they originally purchased their auction rate securities."
The investigations into possible violations were part of an ongoing state-led effort to address problems in connection with the offer and sale of ARS securities. Earlier this year, state offices began receiving hundreds of complaints from investors. As a result, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) announced the formation of a multi-state task force comprised of securities regulators in 12 states. The task force mission was to investigate whether the nation's prominent Wall Street firms had systematically misled investors when placing them in ARS securities.
Wilson noted that a number of firms have established hotlines to respond to questions from customers concerning the terms of the settlements. Those firms and their ARS hotlines are:
Bank of America (866-638-4183)
Deutsche Bank (866-926-1437)
Goldman Sachs (888-350-2857)
JP Morgan (866-450-8470)
Merrill Lynch (888-706-1381)
Morgan Stanley (800-566-2273)