I have been advised that stockbroker W.H. Ireland are to stop offering Personal Crest Accounts. Existing clients using such accounts will have to move into a nominee account, or transfer to another broker which I can imagine a number doing. As ShareSoc Members have been told repeatedly, there are great advantages in terms of legal security and in retaining your shareholder rights by using such accounts rather than pooled nominee accounts offered by most brokers. Your name is on the share register of a company when you hold the shares in a Personal Crest Account, the same as with certificated share accounts, but you get the advantages of electronic trading. Being on the share register means the company in which you own shares will recognise you as a shareholder and communicate with you, i.e. you will get all Notices and Annual Reports directly from them and you can guarantee to be admitted, and be able to vote or speak, at any General Meeting.
A list of alternative brokers who offer personal crest accounts is here: brokers
But it emphasises the importance of reforming shareholder rights as promoted on our web site as the number of brokers offering Personal Crest Accounts continues to decline.
Incidentally, one person I spoke to about the acquisition of TD Direct by Interactive Investor queried how they could transfer shares he owns in a TD Direct account to someone else without his permission. Well there is of course a simple answer to that – he does not own them as they are in a nominee account, TD Direct do!
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