SECURITIES INVESTOR PROTECTION CORPORATION (SIPC) LAUNCHES SPANISH LANGUAGE WEB SITE
Latest Step Part of Ongoing Effort to Explain Work of Organization to Investors
WASHINGTON, D.C. - August 17, 2005 - The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) announced today that it has unveiled a Spanish language version of its Web site at http://www.sipc.org/espanol. SIPC maintains a special reserve fund mandated by Congress to protect the customers of insolvent brokerage firms.
SIPC President Stephen Harbeck said: "The Securities Investor Protection Corporation is intent on doing whatever is necessary to communicate clearly and consistently with American investors. Spanish-speaking individuals are far and away the largest group of non-English-speaking investors. We are committed to making sure that investors understand what SIPC does and does not do for them."
Armando J. Bucelo, Jr., who is vice chairman of the SIPC board of directors, said: "In some parts of the United States -- including sections of Florida, Texas and California -- there may be as many investors who speak Spanish that need to know about SIPC as there are English speakers with the same need. In fact, the SIPC board of directors has members from each of these three states and, as a result, is particularly focused on the pressing need for bilingual communication."
Another SIPC board member, Noe Hinojosa, Jr., who is vice chairman/public finance manager, Estrada Hinojosa & Company, Inc., said: "We have looked closely at this Web site to make sure that it will come across in a clear and concise way to Spanish-language speakers. One of our objectives was to make sure that the often complex matters upon which SIPC focuses are translated into what might be called 'plain Spanish' terms."
The new Web site is one of a number of investor education initiatives undertaken recently by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. In late 2004, SIPC launched a Flash animation movie entitled "What is SIPC? How Can We Help You?" at http://www.sipc.org. SIPC also made available last year a major television and radio public service announcement (PSA) campaign in both English and Spanish. Streaming video and audio versions of the English- and Spanish-language PSAs may be viewed on the Web at http://www.sipc.org/media/streaming.aspx.
In order to ensure that Spanish-speaking investors would understand its technical workings, SIPC enlisted the services of Consumer Action, a non-profit group founded in San Francisco in 1971 that translates materials into Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Russian, Vietnamese, and other languages.
From its creation by the U.S. Congress in 1970 through December 2003, SIPC has advanced $587 million in order to make possible the recovery of $14.0 billion in assets for an estimated 628,000 investors. SIPC estimates that more than 99 percent of eligible investors have been made whole in the failed brokerage firm cases that it has handled to date.
SIPC is an important part of the overall system of investor protection in the United States. While a number of federal, self-regulatory and state securities agencies deal with cases of investment fraud, SIPC's focus is both different and narrow: Restoring funds to investors with assets in the hands of bankrupt and otherwise financially troubled brokerage firms. SIPC was not chartered by Congress to combat fraud. To read about SIPC's limited role in investor protection, go to "How SIPC Protects Investors" at http://www.sipc.org/how.aspx.
SIPC either acts as trustee or works with an independent court-appointed trustee to recover funds. The statute that created SIPC provides that customers of a failed brokerage firm receive all non-negotiable securities that are already registered in their names or in the process of being registered. At the same time, funds from the SIPC reserve are available to satisfy the remaining claims of each customer up to a maximum of $500,000. This figure includes a maximum of $100,000 on claims for cash.
CONTACT: Ailis Aaron, The Hastings Group, (703) 276-3265 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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