How Do You Get a Medallion Stamp?
If you’re transferring shares on either US or Canadian stock exchanges, a medallion signature guarantee stamp may be necessary to prevent unwarranted transfers and provide security features like special security ink.
Banks, credit unions, investment brokers and other financial institutions that participate in medallion programs may offer signature guarantees. Contact your institution of choice to inquire.
What is a Medallion Signature Guarantee?
Medallion signature guarantees are special stamps that certify that the signature that authorizes a transfer of securities is authentic, making this service particularly helpful when selling stocks and bonds held as physical certificates. Many financial institutions such as banks, credit unions and brokerage firms provide this service, with some charging a nominal fee while others requiring that anyone seeking such guarantees also be existing customers of that institution.
Financial institutions tend to avoid providing medallion signature guarantees to anyone off the street, as doing so would expose them to immense liability if their signature certification proves incorrect. Instead, you will typically need to visit your personal bank, investment broker or another financial institution with documentation showing ownership of securities you wish to transfer; some overseas financial institutions with relationships to United States banks also provide medallion signature guarantees to existing customers.
How do I get a Medallion Signature Guarantee?
Medallion stamps are certificates that attest to the authenticity of signatures on stock power or certificates endorsed by institutions, and that their institution accepts liability in case of forgery. Many banks, credit unions, brokerage firms, and savings associations offer medallion certification services; most require that customers have been established customers of one of these institutions for at least six months before offering this service at a nominal fee; foreign financial institutions with relations to United States banks may also provide this certification service.
There are various circumstances when a medallion signature guarantee might be necessary, such as transferring securities between accounts, gifting securities as gifts or distributing ownership after death. To obtain such a guarantee, one must conduct fact finding, document analysis and reach legal conclusions before keeping copies of all necessary documents used in making that decision.
Where can I get a Medallion Signature Guarantee?
Your best bet for obtaining a medallion signature guarantee is at your bank or other financial institution, such as commercial banks, credit unions or broker-dealers. Most are members of Kemark Financial Services’s Medallion Signature Guarantee Program where documents can be stamped with special security barcodes that only read with their Stamp 2000 Plus scanner – each stamp also containing an amount guaranteed such as F or E on it.
Due to costs and liability concerns, most banks and financial institutions limit this service only to customers they already know; one reader reported that his local Citibank branch provided stamps only if he were an existing customer, while Wells Fargo and HSBC branches refused despite having physical accounts with them. To use this service in person you will need current photo identification from government issued sources.
How long does it take to get a Medallion Signature Guarantee?
Medallion Signature Guarantees can take two to five business days for processing due to the institution providing it examining all paperwork to ensure compliance and accuracy before issuing it.
To obtain a medallion signature guarantee, you will need to present current documentation such as ownership statements and documents that need guaranteeing, plus letters of intent as necessary. Furthermore, valid government ID may also be needed.
Medallion signature guarantees are often restricted to existing account holders for a small fee due to the financial risk they pose to financial institutions. You can search online to see which banks provide this service or use MSG Lookup’s database of providers; local banks and credit unions will likely have more experience handling this transaction type than online directories can help locate one nearby.
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