California Announces Settlement with Banc of America to Recover Billions for Investors in Auction Rate Securities
SACRAMENTO, CA (June 8, 2009) – The California Department of Corporations today announced a
settlement agreement with Banc of America Securities LLC and Banc of America Investment Services,
Inc., the investment banking and securities broker-dealer arm of Bank of America (“BOA”), to facilitate
the return of over $3 billion dollars to investors in California. Today’s agreement will settle an investigation alleging BOA with misrepresenting auction rate securities (ARS) to investors as safe, cashequivalent products, even though the products faced increasing liquidity risk.
“This multi-billion dollar agreement represents significant relief for many individual and small business
investors who lost access to funds in the collapse of the auction rate securities market,” Deputy
Commissioner Alan Weinger said. “We are pleased that the outcome of these negotiations will result in the
return of money to many investors who suffered by the freezing of their assets when the auctions failed.”
Under the settlement with BOA, the brokerage has made repurchase offers to all individual, small business
and charitable institutional investors in auction rate securities from California. For other institutional
investors, BOA is required to continue to use their “best efforts” to work with issuers of ARS, State and
Federal regulators and other interested parties to attempt to provide liquidity solutions by December 31,
2009, at which point further action may be taken if no solution is provided.
Terms of the settlement also provide that BOA pay administrative penalties to the State and agree to abide
by a Desist and Refrain order prohibiting violations of California’s securities law including failure to
supervise its employees in the sale of Auction Rate Securities.
The Department extends its gratitude to the North American Securities Administrators Association
(NASAA) and its multi-state Auction Rate Securities Task Force, of which California has been an active
participant. The Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Securities Division, acted as the lead
State in the NASAA negotiations with BOA. Settlement negotiations continue with other broker-dealers
nationwide who issued auction rate securities without adequate investor protections.
Anyone interested in having auction rate securities repurchased by BOA should contact the firm directly by
calling (866) 638-4183 or visiting http://www.bankofamerica.com/ and selecting “investment services.”
Eligible investors must contact BOA no later than December 1, 2009.
To view the Department’s “Findings of Fact, Conclusion of Law, and Administrative Consent Order” for
BOA, please go to: http://www.corp.ca.gov/ENF/pdf/b/bancOA_Findings.pdf.
The Department of Corporations is California’s investment and financing authority and is responsible for the regulation, enforcement, and licensing of securities, franchises, off-exchange commodities, investment and financial services, independent escrows, consumer and commercial finance lending, residential mortgage lending, payday lenders, check sellers, bill payers, and debt reduction services. Consumersshould contact the department to check on the status of the companies, investments or other services they are considering and the licensingstatus of the person at the Department’s toll-free Consumer Resource Center at 1-866-ASK-CORP (1-866-275-2677) or at www.corp.ca.gov.