Share Data > Medallion Guarantee > A Guide to Medallion Signature Guarantees
A Guide to Medallion Signature Guarantees

How to transfer the ownership of stocks or shares and investment securities from the U.S. and Canada

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It is a statutory requirement to obtain a Medallion Signature Guarantee when managing the movement of securities, stocks or shares from the United States of America or Canada. The Medallion Signature Guarantee protects clients accounts by limiting illegal, fraudulent transfers and potential losses by investors.

The Medallion Signature Guarantee guide aims to answer common questions such as:

  • What is a Medallion Signature Guarantee?
  • Who requires a Medallion Signature Guarantee?
  • Why you need a Medallion Signature Guarantee
  • How to obtain a Medallion Signature Guarantee
  • How can Share Data help?

By the end of the guide, you will have gained a better understanding of Medallion Signature Guarantees. If you have any questions, please contact Share Data’s team of experts.

What is a Medallion Signature Guarantee?

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Due to rising levels of identity theft and fraud in the 1990s, the Medallion Signature Guarantee was introduced as an extra layer of security in the U.S. and Canada. Transfer agents in North-America require a Medallion Signature Guarantee, a barcode authenticated stamp that uses a specialised ink to verify the holders signature.

Who requires a Medallion Signature Guarantee?

Solicitors, stockbrokers, accountants, or anyone who owns shares, stocks, or assets based in the US or Canada and wish to do a sale or transfer, are usually required to obtain a Medallion Signature Guarantee stamp.

Why you need a Medallion Signature Guarantee

When selling or transferring securities held in physical certificates or electronically, a Medallion Signature Guarantee is required to authenticate your identity and prove you legally own the assets you intend to transfer or sell. Also, when dealing with North American securities you will be required by the transfer agent of financial institution administering the transactions to obtain a Medallion Signature Guarantee.

The Medallion Signature Guarantee protects:

  • The transfer agent by reducing liability in the event of any fraudulent activity.
  • The buyer by providing a guarantee on the legitimacy of the stock, or shares and that the seller is authorised to make the transaction.
  • An existing shareholder by making it impossible for someone to steal certified shares and try to cash in on them.

How to obtain a Medallion Signature Guarantee

Most banks, firms, credit unions brokerages, savings and loan associations in North America will only offer Medallion Signature Guarantee stamps to North-American citizens who hold an account with them. According to the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), there are only 3 Medallion Signature Guarantee programmes:

  1. Securities Transfer Agents Medallion Programme (STAMP), which has more than 7,000 U.S.& Canadian financial institutions and a handful of companies in the United Kingdom.
  2. Stock Exchange Medallion Programme (SEMP), which include regional stock exchange member companies and clearing trust companies.
  3. New York Stock Exchange Medallion Signature Programme (MSP), which includes companies from the NYSE.

The Medallion Signature Guarantee can only be offered by members belonging to the programmes above. If you are overseas and outside of North America, you will need to contact a member of STAMP that offers Medallion Signature Guarantees.

How can Share Data help?

Share Data is one of the few companies in the United Kingdom that is certified to administer a Medallion Signature Guarantee stamp and has been a member of the Securities Transfer Agents Medallion Programme (STAMP) since 2014.

man on PC 400x400Share Data requires the following documents to obtain a Medallion Guarantee:

  1. Stock transfer form.
  2. Certified copy of the client’s passport or in the case of a deceased’s estate, the executor’s passport and the Grant of Probate. If a Grant of Probate has not been issued, then a copy of the Will and death certificate will suffice.
  3. Certified copy of the client’s utility bill, dated within the last 3 months, or in the case of deceased, the executor’s utility bill.
  4. Copy of a DRS or Dividend statements evidencing ownership of the shares.
  5. Payment to Share Data Limited.

Transfer and Sale of North American Assets

Share Data can also organise the transfer and/or sale of North American assets without acting under a Power of Attorney due to the Medallion Signature Guarantee stamp’s authority. Share Data’s services also include the transfer and/or sale of any assets in any of the developed markets. Deposited assets are securely held by our agent’s overseas custodian, Bank of New York Mellon, where the client funds can be received in all major world currencies.

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How to transfer the ownership of stocks or shares and investment securities from the U.S. and Canada

It is a statutory requirement to obtain a Medallion Signature Guarantee when managing the movement of securities, stocks or shares from the United States of America or Canada.

The Medallion Signature Guarantee guide aims to answer common questions such as what is a Medallion Signature Guarantee, how to obtain one, who and why you need a Medallion Signature Guarantee. By the end of the guide, you will have gained a better understanding of Medallion Signature Guarantees.

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    Slide I have been extremely impressed with the service received and won't hesitate to both use and recommend share data's services in the future. Jennifer B, David Auld & Co Solicitors

    16th August 2019

    Slide My firm have used share data for their medallion guarantee services for foreign shareholders since the beginning of 2018 – each occasion has been efficient and successful which leads to happy clients. I would strongly recommend their services, with a special mention for teresa – who is friendly, helpful and gets the job done. Asset Manager

    23rd August 2018

    Slide Share Data's service is brilliant. Currently, sorting another one for you! Deanne Taylor, Smalleys Solicitors Ltd

    8th November 2019

    Slide Thank you for processing our Medallion Guarantee and for all of your assistance leading up to it. Share Data have a great service. Walker Crips Investment Management

    6th August 2020

    Slide I wish everyone was as quick and easy to deal with as you have been. It is truly a pleasure and a great contrast to most other financial service companies in Canada and New Zealand that I have dealt with in the past. Private Individual

    26th November 2019