Securities News Releases
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Contact: Laura Egerdal, (573) 526-0949
Contact: Ryan Hobart, (573) 526-4734
Carnahan Calls Stifel’s Plan “Inadequate”
One Year Later, Hundreds of Missourians Still Have No Access to Their Savings
JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI – Secretary of State Robin Carnahan today dismissed the plan announced by Stifel Nicolaus, Inc. to give investors holding auction rate securities only $25,000 or ten percent of their frozen savings. Carnahan called on Stifel to immediately present a plan that would buy back all frozen auction rate securities from their investors, many of whom have had their savings frozen nearly a year.
After hearing Stifel's plan, one investor called the Secretary of State's office to express his frustration. "Ten percent is nothing but an insult," responded the 60 year old investor. "If it wasn't for Stifel's misleading sales tactics, I would have all of my savings right now."
Since the collapse of the auction rate securities market in February 2008, hundreds of investors have called the Secretary of State's office to report they were misled by the brokers who called them to pitch auction rate securities. Dozens of these investors filed formal complaints against Stifel, reporting they were promised these investments would be "same as cash."
"After nearly a year, Stifel is finally beginning to address this issue but it is too little, too late for those who desperately need their frozen savings,” said Carnahan, “It is time for Stifel to follow the lead of other major investment banks and give their customers the access to their money that was promised. In these uncertain economic times, my office will continue taking the necessary steps to help these investors get their savings back."
In the past year major investment banks across the country have worked with state regulators and bought back auction rate securities from their clients. In Missouri, the Secretary of State's office reached agreements with Wachovia Securities and Commerce Bank that helped over 40,000 investors get access to the money they desperately needed.
For more information regarding investments and fraud protection, visit the Secretary of State's online Missouri Investor Protection Center at www.MissouriSafeSavings.com or call the toll free Investor Protection Hotline at 1-800-721-7996.
To find out more about Missouri's Secretary of State's office, visit www.sos.mo.gov.