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How is IRA Express Regulated?
IRA Express is in the business of providing record keeping and administrative services for self-directed retirement accounts. As a third-party administrator, IRA Express is required to contract with a regulated financial institution to serve as custodian for the accounts it administers. IRA Express has entered into a custodial agreement with Mainstar Trust (Mainstar) to provide custodial services for its self-directed IRA accounts. Due to the fact that Mainstar Trust is in the self-directed IRA business it knows and understands the regulatory requirements of the self-directed IRA industry. Because Mainstar is a regulated financial institution, IRA Express is required to maintain the necessary high standards and policies as required by Mainstar.
Mainstar is a limited purpose trust company chartered in the state of Kansas and provides custody services for various self-directed investment retirement accounts (“IRAs”), including Traditional, Roth, SEP, SIMPLE, Education/Coverdell IRAs and Health Savings Accounts.
Operating for over 35 years, Mainstar currently provides custody services for over 110,000 IRAs with more than $8 billion in assets.
Mainstar serves only as custodian of your account, and as with IRA Express, does not offer any investment advice. Mainstar and IRA Express do not sell, sponsor, guarantee, endorse, accredit, certify or back any investments. Their accountholders direct all of their investment choices and are therefore responsible for the performance of their accounts.
Mainstar is regulated by the Office of the State Bank Commissioner of Kansas (OSBC). The OSBC regulates all state chartered banks and trust companies in Kansas with the primary objective of ensuring the safety and soundness of state-chartered financial institutions, thereby safeguarding depositors’ assets and maintaining public confidence. As required by Kansas regulations, Mainstar’s business is subject to an annual “agreed upon procedures” evaluation conducted by an independent CPA who reviews and reports on items set forth in the Kansas regulations. These reports are available to the OSBC for inspection. IRA Express provides documentation for and is included in the OSBC and independent CPA audits.
Mainstar partners with select IRA services companies (“Administrators”), like IRA Express, across the country to jointly service self- directed IRAs. Mainstar has access to all records and assets of IRA Express’ accountholders for which it serves as custodian. IRA Express is permitted to act as Mainstar’s agent, but ultimate control of the assets held on behalf of the accountholder, including cash, rests with Mainstar as the custodian. Account asset ownership documentation is held primarily in Mainstar’s vault.
Mainstar’s Trust Committee and Board of Directors oversee the services provided by IRA Express through an Administrative Oversight Committee (AOC) composed of IRA Express staff as well as Mainstar management and compliance officers. IRA Express provides monthly reports for and attends the mandatory monthly AOC meeting to review activities, approve policy changes and to provide ongoing oversight feedback. Mainstar management also regularly reviews information from third parties and periodically visits the office of IRA Express to ensure that each IRA Express is following required procedures and best practices.
If you would like more information regarding the responsibilities and regulatory requirements that IRA Express must adhere to please contact us at 888-328-8008 or by email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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