The Medallion Signature guarantee also called the Medallion stamp guarantee, is used by transferring financial institutions as a special signature to guarantee that a signature is genuine. This means that the institution will accept any liability in case of forgeries.
The signature will, in turn, protect the shareholder in preventing unauthorized transfers and/or losses. It is also meant to limit any liability the transfer agent who accepts the certificate would have.
Most people will need this signature guarantee when selling physical stock certificates. This is so that they can prove that they are who they say they are to the securities agent and to vouch that they have the right to sign over the rights to the assets being sold. If you’re changing the ownership of an investment account or gifting it to someone, you might need this signature guarantee as well.
How much does a Medallion signature guarantee cost?
The Medallion signature guarantee will cost somewhere between $10 and $55 per guarantee, although most banks will offer the Medallion signature stamp for free to their customers.
You can find the Medallion signature guarantee at some law firms, as well as credit unions and local banks, and its price will depend on where you will have it made.
The institutions that want to participate in this program will have to pay an enrollment fee, and although most of them will just pay it to offer this guarantee as an additional service to their customers, there are some that avoid enrolling, as in the case of faulty transactions, they will be held liable.
According to DepositAccounts, most of the time you will be able to get the Medallion stamps from your local bank if you’re a current customer. Some banks will not only require that you have an account before you can use the guarantee stamp, but the account will also have to be at least six to ten months old. A couple of examples are Citibank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo, all of which only provide this guarantee to their customers.
If you’re a customer of a brick-and-mortar bank, you should make sure they offer this service before going to their location. A simple phone call should give you the answer. You should also check the terms and conditions before receiving the stamp, to make sure you can work inside their requirements.
One example of a bank that charges its customers is First National Bank, which has a fee of $40 for each guarantee and will only work with its own customers for this service. The transaction dollar limit for this service, according to this bank, is $250,000 per transaction.
Institutions that offer free Medallion signature guarantee stamps
You can use the Medallion signature guarantee for free and the following nationwide institutions.
- Wells Fargo
- U.S. Bank
- TD Bank
- Raymond James
- Morgan Stanley
- Merrill Lynch
- First Midwest Bank
- Fidelity Bank
- Edward Jones
- Citizens Bank
- Charles Schwab
- Capital One
- BBVA Compass
- Bank of the West
Keep in mind that all of the institutions mentioned above will require you to be a current account holder to take advantage of the service. You will also need to go to some select locations and perform the needed paperwork in person. For more information, get in touch with the institutions directly.
What is a Medallion signature guarantee?
This signature is used as an official stamp certificate to prove your identity. It is usually used by financial institutions for financial transactions that involve securities. Medallion signature guarantees are meant to protect all parties in the case of fraud, especially in cases where you buy, transfer, or sell a stock, bond, or financial asset without using a broker.
Financial institutions usually use one of the three Medallion programs: MSP, SEMP, or STAMP. Regardless of the Medallion Signature Guarantee program they use, it will have the same goal, and that is fraud prevention. An institution will only be able to provide a signature guarantee if it belongs to one of these programs.
Medallion signature guarantee vs. a notary
Notary services and the Medallion signature guarantee are 100% different, even though they both use stamps from a certified professional. A Medallion signature guarantee will only focus on securities, while notaries can notarize any document, regardless of its type.
While a notary can use black ink, in the case of the Medallion signature guarantee, only green ink can be used. On top of this, people who are able to give the Medallion signature guarantee have been trained and certified beforehand by a stock and security exchange organization.
A Medallion signature guarantee will offer you better protection in case fraud arises, even though both signatures are meant to confirm your identity and make the document official.
Where can I get a medallion signature guarantee without an account?
The bad news is that it will be almost impossible to find a bank that won’t require that you have an account with it before it can vouch for you with this stamp. This is to consider your identity in depth. Banks don’t want to take responsibility for people without an account, especially since the financial institution will be held liable in cases of fraudulent activity.
However, on the bright side, it doesn’t take too much time to sign up for an account at your usual banks, and on top of being straightforward, it is also free. As soon as the account setup is complete, you will probably be able to receive your medallion signature, as long as the bank doesn’t have rules about the age of the account.
Where can I obtain a Medallion Signature Guarantee?
Financial institutions are the most common places that will provide this service. Aside from these, you might have luck at your local credit union or bank, as well as several law firms and your local brokerage. Any provider you pick will require that you have a type of relationship with their company before they can offer you this service.
What should I bring?
A couple of documents should be enough at most institutions. These include a passport, driver’s license, or other form of photo identification and proof of the transaction value and ownership of the securities in question. This can be anything from the stock certificate to the statement detailing the shares you currently own.
You might also be required to have a probate with proof of power of attorney, appointment letters, and/or death certificate, depending on your specific circumstances. To make sure you’re prepared for the process, you should talk to the institution before going to their location.