What is a Medallion Stamp?
Banks, brokerages and other financial institutions that offer Medallion Signature Guarantees typically participate in the STAMP program. These institutions use special imprinting equipment with green high security ink for imprinting signature guarantees on Medallion Signature Cards.
These stamps are secured by an institution’s assets to limit liabilities related to unauthorised transfers and investor losses, and require thorough document verification so as to authenticate endorser identity – something a notary stamp cannot do.
What is a Medallion Stamp?
Medallion signature guarantees are stamps that certify the signatures on documents related to financial asset transfers. When dealing with securities transfers, such as stock or bond transfers, medallion signature guarantees are essential to limit unauthorized transfers and protect investors against potential losses. Transfer agents typically request them when an owner of shares wants to sell or transfer shares while also mitigating liability on institutions accepting documents for transfer.
To offer medallion signature guarantees, financial institutions must become members of The Medallion Signature Guarantee Program (STAMP), and enter into an agreement with Kemark Financial Services which administers STAMP. Most financial institutions that provide medallion guarantees charge fees for this service.
Though often misconstrued as notary stamps, medallion signature guarantees are distinct. A notary stamp verifies identity while medallion signature guarantees are backed up by bank assets.
How Do I Get a Medallion Stamp?
An electronic signature guarantee, known as a medallion program, is necessary when moving securities between accounts. Banks, credit unions and broker dealers that participate can offer this service.
Institutions tend to avoid offering this service due to the potential liabilities they expose themselves to. They will most likely only offer medallion stamps to existing customers who meet certain requirements such as being bank account holders for at least six months, having photo identification and receiving verification from both their broker and investor that verifies both identity and legal authority for transfers.
Find medallion signature guarantee providers by contacting banks, brokerage firms or credit unions in your local area to see which are certified and offer this service. Some have even established searchable databases of medallion providers online; always call ahead and schedule an appointment before visiting.
Where Can I Get a Medallion Stamp?
A medallion stamp affixed to stock certificates or stock powers can guarantee their authenticity, authenticating both who is signing it as well as whether or not they are legally authorized to sign. Furthermore, any institution affixing such a stamp agrees to accept liability in case of forgery; these services can be offered by banks, credit unions, securities banks that conduct securities business and broker-dealers who participate in medallion programs.
Kemark Stamp 2000 document readers can only read its bar code and invisible security compound embedded in its ink, providing financial institutions with signature guarantee services with access to its signature guarantee stamp. If they wish to become signature guarantee providers themselves they must submit forms from Kemark and pay an annual fee.
If a bank doesn’t provide medallion stamps, an SEC-approved medallion guarantee program could allow it to use an U.S. Embassy Seal instead for transferring securities or assets.
How Much Does a Medallion Stamp Cost?
Cost: Medallion signature guarantees vary based on the value of securities being transferred, but typically begin at $50 from credit unions or $75 from banks for $100,000 guarantees, with costs increasing for larger amounts; they’re often cheaper than notary stamps which only confirm identity rather than ownership of documents.
Banks, credit unions, brokerage firms and trust companies that belong to one of three medallion programs – New York Stock Exchange Medallion Program, Securities Transfer Agents Medallion Program or Stock Exchange Medallion Program – may provide stamps.
Institutions offering this service typically only extend it to existing customers as they assume liability for any fraudulent transactions that take place. When medallions cannot be obtained, Lester Aldridge can assist with procuring an alternative signature guarantee from one of the US-based firms operating the STAMP programme.