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Are share certificates going for good?

The UK government’s suggested it will look at ways to abolish share certificates. We take a closer look at why and what investors can do.

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

Over ten million people are thought to hold share certificates in the UK.

However, the certificates themselves might not be around for much longer. So, it’s worth looking at your options.

We look at why they could be abolished and what investors can do about it.

This article isn’t personal advice, if you’re not sure what’s right for your circumstances, seek financial advice.

Are share certificates going for good?

For years, UK and European policy makers have proposed abolishing share certificates.

In fact, had we not left the European Union, share certificates would’ve been abolished from 2025, and replaced by an electronic holding with the company’s registrar. This has been put on hold following Brexit.

But it could still happen.

In September, the UK government announced it’s looking at “converting these paper shares into electronic form, while preserving the rights of existing shareholders.” 

If this happens, your share certificates will become null and void. But you’ll still be the registered shareholder. And in order to sell your shares, you’ll need to contact the company’s registrar.

Another way to hold share certificates

Transferring your share certificates to the HL Fund and Share Account could help you take control of your financial future.

When your shares are held in your HL Fund and Share Account, you can see how many shares you hold, and what they’re worth. You can then buy or sell online in seconds and move the proceeds to your nominated bank account in two working days.

Selling share certificates isn’t as straightforward.

We don’t offer a certificated share dealing service anymore. With companies that do, you can normally only sell share certificates over the phone or by post. You’ll then likely need to sign a transfer form and return it to them with your share certificates before getting your money sometime later.

That’s a lot of hassle, which you don’t need.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE HL FUND AND SHARE ACCOUNT

Why might you decide to keep your share certificates?

Shares held electronically will no longer be held directly in your name – and your details won’t appear on the company’s shareholder register.

You still remain the beneficial owner, but you should check how this might affect any income, shareholder perks, and any other benefits.

And unlike with share certificates, you could be charged a management fee to hold shares electronically on a provider’s platform. Though there are no charges to hold shares in the HL Fund and Share Account.

SEE ALL OUR CHARGES

How to transfer share certificates to HL

It’s easy to transfer your paper share certificates into the HL Fund and Share Account.

If you have a Fund and Share Account already, all you need to do is:

1. Complete a CREST transfer form.

2. Return it to us, along with your share certificates.

We recommend returning your CREST transfer form and certificates by recorded delivery.

That’s it. You’ll be able to view your shares online or with the HL App at any time.

FIND OUT MORE AND GET STARTED NOW

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    Important notes

    This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

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