Lindeen Announces $550,000 Settlement with Banc of America

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Montana State Auditor and Commissioner of Securities Recovers $550,000 for Montana Investors

HELENA, Mont. – More Montana investors who lost millions in auction rate securities will be getting their money back. State Auditor and Commissioner of Securities Monica Lindeen today announced a major settlement agreement with Banc of America Securities LLC and Banc of America Investment Services, Inc. to return over $550,000 to Montana investors. Today’s agreement will settle an investigation alleging Banc of America misrepresented auction rate securities (ARS) to investors as safe, cash-equivalent products, even though the products faced increasing liquidity risk.

“Today’s agreement is an important and timely relief for investors who lost funds in the collapse of the auction rate securities market,” Commissioner Lindeen said.

Lindeen applauded the financial industry for stepping up to the plate to provide restitution to Montana investors. “This settlement illustrates the determination of the State Auditor’s Office to protect Montana’s consumers,” said Lindeen. “Using all of the tools available to this office, we can ensure that Montanans get a fair shake.”

Under the settlement with Banc of America, the firm has agreed to offer to repurchase auction rate securities in the amount of $550,000 from Montana investors. The settlement also provides that Banc of America pay a fine of $101,661.34, which will be deposited into the state general fund.

The Banc of America settlement brings the total amount that Lindeen’s office has recovered in auction rate security settlements to more than $24 million including: $9,505,000 from Citigroup, $14,033,000 from Wachovia and $550,000 from Banc of America. Lindeen said her office will be finalizing several additional settlements with additional brokerage firms regarding ARS securities in the upcoming months.

Montanans that feel they have been treated unfairly by an insurance company or who believe they have been the victims of fraud should call the Montana State Auditor’s office at 1-800-332-6148 or in Helena at 444-2040.