Signature Guarantee Transactions

A signature guarantee requires a higher level of scrutiny than a notary public. Financial institutions will require a signature guarantee for certain transactions that pose a substantial risk, due to the high dollar amount of the transaction, high potential for fraud, or both. Some transactions always require a signature guarantee, while some are at the discretion of the financial institution.

Transfer of Securities

When you transfer securities from one institution to another, the sending institution will require a signature guarantee to process the transaction. This is done to relieve the liability on the sending institution in the event of fraud. Typically this institution will have an agent qualified to conduct the transaction. However, in the event that there is not a qualified agent available, there are other places to find a signature guarantee agent (or guarantor).

Account Maintenance

Signature guarantees are typically intended for the transfer of securities between financial institutions, but there are some other complicated transactions that may require a signature guarantee.  These may vary by bank and brokerage house.  Some examples might include adding/removing an account holder, changing an account type, and other high-risk transactions.  Your bank or brokerage house will notify you if a signature guarantee is required.