What Happens if your Stock Broker in the Philippines Closes?

Recently, I was asked by a friend from the office what will happen to her stocks if COL Financial closes. Her plan is to hold on the stocks in her COL Financial account for a very long time. I happen to also have a COL Financial account but since I don’t intend to keep the stocks in my COL Financial account for a very long time, I really didn’t bother to check what will happen if COL Financial or any other stock broker in the Philippines closes down.

In the Philippines there is a company which acts much like the PDIC in which it ensures investors’ stocks and cash left (cash balance) with stock brokers, it is called the Securities Investor Protection Fund or the SIPF. The PDIC is a company that insures your bank deposits should a bank close down.

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COL Financial is a member of the SIPF. The cash balance that you have with COL is insured through the SIPF up to 100,000 pesos only. Please note that this limit only applies to the cash balance in your account and not your stocks.

If you have 1 million pesos worth of PLDT stocks with COL and COL closes down, all of your PLDT stocks are safe. Remember that COL is only a broker (or an agent) and they don’t physically hold in their possession the stocks purchased by their clients. Stock brokers in the Philippines are required by law to lodge or deposit the shares purchased on behalf of clients with the Philippine Depository & Trust Corporation (PDTC) as custodian.

COL recommends that you keep a copy of your updated ledger to have a proof of your holdings. Here is a screenshot of where you can download your ledger:

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If you don’t intend to touch your stocks for a really long time, you may also choose to convert your electronic shares into a physical certificate. Just bear in mind though that stock certificates are not anymore tradable online through your COL account.

Below are instructions on how to convert your electronic shares into a physical certificate.

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