The SIPC Mission
When a brokerage firm is closed due to bankruptcy or other financial difficulties and customer assets are missing, SIPC steps in as quickly as possible and, within certain limits, works to return customers' cash, stock and other securities, and other customer property. Without SIPC, investors at financially troubled brokerage firms might lose their securities or money forever or wait for years while their assets are tied up in court.
Although not every investor is protected by SIPC, no fewer than 99 percent of persons who are eligible get their investments back from SIPC. From its creation by Congress in 1970 through December 2012, SIPC advanced $2.1 billion in order to make possible the recovery of $120.7 billion in assets for an estimated 770,000 investors.