Medallion Signature Guarantee - What You Should Know

Written By Ben Broadwater

Posted July 12, 2023

A Medallion Signature Guarantee (MSG) is a special stamp that is used to verify the authenticity of a signature on a document that authorizes the transfer of securities. The stamp is issued by a financial institution that is a member of the Securities Transfer Agents Medallion Program (STAMP).

MSGs are typically required when an investor wants to sell or transfer securities that are held in physical certificate form. This is because physical securities certificates can be easily forged, so an MSG provides a layer of security to protect the transfer agent from fraud.

medallion signature guarantee (MSG)

How To Get A Medallion Signature Guarantee

To get a Medallion Signature Guarantee, you will need to go to a financial institution that is a member of the STAMP program. You can find a list of participating institutions on the STAMP website.

Once you have found a participating institution, you will need to bring the following items with you:

  • The securities certificate or other document that authorizes the transfer of securities.
  • A valid government-issued ID.
  • A completed MSG application form.

The financial institution will then verify your identity and signature, and issue the MSG. The MSG will include your name, the date of the guarantee, and the name of the financial institution that issued the guarantee.

The cost of a Medallion Signature Guarantee varies depending on the financial institution. However, it typically costs between $10 and $20.

In most cases, the review process should only take 1-2 days after receiving all documents. However, complex cases may take up to 5 business days to review.

MSGs are valid for a period of one year. If an investor needs to transfer securities after the MSG has expired, they will need to obtain a new one.

Example: Bank of America – Medallion Signature Guarantee Request Form

Here Are Some Of The Benefits Of Using A MSG:

  • Helps to protect investors from fraud.
  • Makes it easier for transfer agents to process securities transfers.
  • Can help to speed up the transfer process.

If you are planning to sell or transfer securities that are held in physical certificate form, you should contact a financial institution that is a member of STAMP to obtain an MSG.

Medallion Signature Guarantee - Example

What Banks Offer A Medallion Signature Guarantee?

  • Bank of America
  • Chase
  • Wells Fargo
  • Capital One
  • Charles Schwab
  • Fidelity
  • E*Trade
  • TD Ameritrade
  • Interactive Brokers

You can find a list of all the banks that offer Medallion Signature Guarantee on the STAMP website here.

Common Reasons For Needing A Medallion Signature Guarantee

  • Sell or transfer securities that are held in physical certificate form.
  • Open a new brokerage account.
  • Transfer securities from one brokerage account to another.
  • Create a trust or estate.
  • Donate securities to charity.
  • Pledge securities as collateral for a loan.

In addition to the reasons listed above, there are a few other common reasons why you might need a Medallion Signature Guarantee. These include:

  • Open a new bank account.
  • Create a power of attorney.
  • Change the beneficiary on a life insurance policy.
  • Transfer ownership of a business.
  • File for bankruptcy.

If you are unsure whether you need a Medallion Signature Guarantee, you should contact your financial advisor or the transfer agent for the securities you are transferring.

Conclusion

A Medallion Signature Guarantee is a valuable tool that can help to protect investors from fraud and make it easier to transfer securities. If you are planning to sell or transfer securities that are held in physical certificate form, you should consider obtaining an MSG.

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