Thursday, July 17, 2008
A team of ten securities regulators from Missouri, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other states entered Wachovia Securities’ headquarters in St. Louis seeking documents and records related to its marketing of auction rate securities. The inspection sought information concerning Wachovia Securities’ sales practices, internal evaluations of the auction rate securities market and marketing strategies. The Missouri Secretary of State has also served subpoenas on over a dozen Wachovia Securities agents and executives to gather more information.
NASAA set up a task force to coordinate investigations into ADRs. Last month the Massachusetts securities regulator filed a fraud complaint against UBS Securities, and other states are looking into practices at other firms as well, including including Commerce Bank N.A. and Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated. Many investors have complained to the state regulators that they are not able to liquidate their ARS investments, despite promises by brokers that the investments are liquid.