The SEC's website released an "Investor Bulletin" to educate investors on bank sweep programs. They write, "Broker-dealers may offer you several options for managing your cash. One option, a bank sweep program, typically involves the automatic transfer (or "sweep") of cash in the brokerage account into a deposit account at a bank that may or may not be affiliated with the broker-dealer. Other options include leaving cash in the brokerage account, or sweeping cash to one or more money market mutual funds. This investor alert focuses only on the first option: bank sweep programs. The terms and conditions of bank sweep programs vary. The protections for cash at a bank primarily will derive from banking laws and regulations, including FDIC deposit insurance." It continues, "You should review your brokerage account agreement and statement to determine if you are participating in a bank sweep program for your cash. Many bank sweep programs are the "default" option for managing cash in a brokerage account, so you may have agreed to participate in your broker-dealer's bank sweep program when you opened your brokerage account. `Beginning in March 2014, your broker-dealer must obtain your written consent to participate in a bank sweep program for any new account you open. If the description of the bank sweep program is not clear to you, you may want to consider asking your broker-dealer to explain how its bank sweep program works. You also may want to consider asking your broker-dealer about other options for your cash as well as the return offered, risks and costs of each option."

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