Dear Mr. Tan
Can Singapore learn from New York?
ATTORNEY GENERAL CUOMO ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENTS WITH BANK OF AMERICA AND ROYAL BANK OF CANADA TO RECOVER BILLIONS FOR INVESTORS IN AUCTION-RATE SECURITIES
NEW YORK, NY (October 8, 2008) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced two more agreements to provide liquidity to consumers who purchased auction-rate securities. Banc of America Securities LLC and Banc of America Investment Services, Inc. ("Bank of America") will return over $4.5 billion to investors across New York State and the nation. RBC Capital Markets Corporation ("RBC") will return over $850 million to investors across New York State and the nation. These agreements settle allegations that Bank of America and RBC made misrepresentations in its marketing and sales of auction-rate securities. Bank of America and RBC marketed and sold auction-rate securities as safe, cash-equivalent products, when in fact they faced increasing liquidity risk.
"In today's economic climate, it's more important than ever for investors to be able to access their money. Returning billions of dollars back to investors not only protects their interests but also increases confidence in the entire market," said Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. "Since the beginning of our investigation into the auction-rate securities market, our objective has been to provide relief to investors who have been unable to sell auction-rate securities as a result of widespread auction failures in February 2008. With these settlements, we've returned over $50 billion back into investors' hands, providing relief to the overwhelming majority of individual investors who were fraudulently sold auction-rate securities."
Similar to prior settlements in the industry-wide investigation, Bank of America and RBC have agreed to buyback auction-rate securities from certain customers. Bank of America has agreed to offer to buy back all illiquid auction-rate securities from all of Bank of America's retail customers, small businesses with less than $15 million on deposit and charities with less than $25 million on deposit. RBC has agreed to offer to buy back all illiquid auction-rate securities from all of RBC's individual customers; charities, non-profits and government entities with less than $25 million on deposit; and all other entities with less than $10 million on deposit.
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