Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Consumer Alert:
Auction Rate Securities Buyback Offers

State Reminds Investors Of Auction Rate Securities Buyback Offers

December 15, 2008

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) Securities Division is reminding auction rate securities investors of their redemption opportunities, which were reached through settlements between securities regulators and multiple Wall Street firms. Many brokerage firms are offering to buy back auction rate securities from their customers. Investors should be aware that the offers to repurchase their auction rate securities will not be available indefinitely. Investors with questions about the repurchasing process should contact the firm from which they purchased their auction rate securities.

A number of Wall Street firms have established hotlines to respond to questions concerning ARS settlements. Those firms and their ARS hotlines are:

The investigations into possible violations were part of an ongoing effort led by the states to address problems in connection with the offer and sale of ARS securities. Earlier this year, state offices throughout the country began receiving hundreds of complaints from investors. As a result, in April, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), of which Washington’s DFI is a member, announced the formation of a multi-state task force comprising securities regulators from 12 states and representing all NASAA-member states to investigate whether Wall Street firms had systematically misled investors when placing them in ARS securities.

If you are a Washington resident who invested in auction rate securities, and had your funds frozen in your account, you can file a complaint with the Washington Securities Division online at http://dfi.wa.gov/sd/complaint.htm or you can call us at 360-902-8760 or 1-877-RING DFI.

Residents of other states who invested in auction rate securities and who want to file a complaint can visit the NASAA website to find contact information their state securities office at http://www.nasaa.org/about-us/contact-us/contact-your-regulator/.

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