§ 240.17Ad-17Transfer agents' obligation to search for lost securityholders.
(1) Every recordkeeping transfer agent whose master securityholder file includes accounts of lost securityholders shall exercise reasonable care to ascertain the correct addresses of such securityholders. In exercising reasonable care to ascertain for its master securityholder file such lost securityholders' current addresses, each recordkeeping transfer agent shall conduct two data base searches using at least one information data base service. The transfer agent shall search by taxpayer identification number or by name if a search based on taxpayer identification number is not reasonably likely to locate the securityholder. Such data base searches must be conducted without charge to a lost securityholder and with the following frequency:
(i) Between three and twelve months of such securityholder becoming a lost securityholder and
(ii) Between six and twelve months after the transfer agent's first search for such lost securityholder.
(2) A transfer agent may not use a search method or service to establish contact with lost securityholders that results in a charge to a lost securityholder prior to completing the searches set forth in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.
(3) A transfer agent need not conduct the searches set forth in paragraph (a)(1) of this section for a lost securityholder if:
(i) It has received documentation that such securityholder is deceased or
(ii) The aggregate value of assets listed in the lost securityholder's account, including all dividend, interest, and other payments due to the lost securityholder and all securities owned by the lost securityholder as recorded in the transfer agent's master securityholder files, is less that $25; or
(iii) The securityholder is not a natural person.
(b) For purposes of this section:
(1)Information data base service means either:
(i) Any automated data base service that contains addresses from the entire United States geographic area, contains the names of at least 50% of the United States adult population, is indexed by taxpayer identification number or name, and is updated at least four times a year; or
(ii) Any service or combination of services which produces results comparable to those of the service described in paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section in locating lost securityholders.
(2)Lost securityholder means a securityholder:
(i) To whom an item of correspondence that was sent to the securityholder at the address contained in the transfer agent's master securityholder file has been returned as undeliverable; provided, however, that if such item is re-sent within one month to the lost securityholder, the transfer agent may deem the securityholder to be a lost securityholder as of the day the resent item is returned as undeliverable; and
(ii) For whom the transfer agent has not received information regarding the securityholder's new address.
(c) Every recordkeeping transfer agent shall maintain records to demonstrate compliance with the requirements set forth in this section which shall include written procedures which describe the transfer agent's methodology for complying with this section.
[62 FR 52237, Oct. 7, 1997; 63 FR 1884, Jan. 12, 1998, as amended at 68 FR 14316, Mar. 25, 2003]
Title 17 published on 2012-04-01
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