Bankruptcy Basics :: Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) ::
The SIPA is codified in Title 15 of the United States Code at Sections 78aaa - 111. The SIPA created the SIPC, a nonprofit, private membership corporation to which most registered brokers and dealers are required to belong. 15 U.S.C. § 78ccc. The SIPC fund, which constitutes an insurance program, is authorized under 15 U.S.C. § 78ddd(a), and assessments against members are authorized by 15 U.S.C. §§ 78ddd(c) and (d). The fund is designed to protect the customers of brokers or dealers subject to the SIPA from loss in case of financial failure of the member. The fund is supported by assessments upon its members. If the fund should become inadequate, the SIPA authorizes borrowing against the U.S. Treasury. An analogy could be made to the role of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in the banking industry.