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Chas Stanley Prices Crest Membership At Ridiculous Level

Charles Stanley have sent out a letter to all their customers who use Personal Crest accounts that in future they will be charged £504 per annum (inc. VAT). Although the company stopped offering the service to new customers some time ago, existing users have in some cases been paying nothing to be a Personal Crest member. They clearly want to get rid of all such users of their service, include those using the low-cost Chas Stanley Direct platform because £504 is not likely to be an economic justifiable fee for most people.

They claim in the letter that there is a gap between what they charge for the service and the effort and costs involved as a Crest sponsor. Is this really true though? Almost all stock market trades go through the Crest system whether you are in nominee account or Personal Crest account. So why should it cost more?

In reality they are probably just trying to “simplify and standardise their service to cut costs and improve the service to clients” as they recently announced. But there are major advantages to having a Personal Crest account. You are on the share register of the company so the shares are clearly owned by you unlike in a nominee account. In addition you get the dividends on the shares paid directly to you instead of it sitting in a broker’s account earning them interest rather than you. Clients would probably be willing to pay a reasonable fee for the service, but not £504.

The only saving part of the announcement is that they are offering a free transfer to another Crest sponsor free of charge. I imagine many people will take up that offer although there are not many alternatives. I suggest clients of Chas Stanley who are affected by this change also send in complaints about this change.

Roger Lawson (Twitter: https://twitter.com/RogerWLawson )

4 Comments
  1. marben100 19th May 2019 at 7:40 pm

    I will seek to get a meeting with them, on behalf of ShareSoc, to see whether they may relent.

    Best, Mark Bentley

  2. Keith Fagandini 20th May 2019 at 12:45 pm

    It would be worthwhile to meet with CS to point out that they will inevitable lose custom by imposing these significant charges. I hold a share portfolio with them specifically because of the CREST sponsorship new charges will clearly make this uneconomic, so one way or another I will be taking my business elsewhere. Unfortunately it is difficult to find an alternative broker/platform that offers these direct ownership CREST arrangements – Killick & Co. and Blankstone Sington (who I had not heard of before) come up on a quick online search as possible alternatives. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

  3. Mark Clenshaw 22nd May 2019 at 2:27 pm

    I entirely agree with Roger’s comments.

    I have registered my severe disappointment with CS, telling them that I am considering moving my business elsewhere. A friendly acknowledgement resulted but no sign of a reconsideration on their part. More power to your elbow on this Mark.

    My research too came up with Killick and Blankstones. The latter is based In Liverpool. I have mailed them both. Whilst still awaiting a reply from Blankstones, Killick have sent an encouraging response and, whilst they do charge a fee and their service may not quite replicate the CSDirect platform, I may well progress a meeting with their local branch office.

    Redmaynes also offer a service apparently similar to CSDirect but their Personal CREST sponsorship is even more expensive.

  4. marben100 22nd May 2019 at 4:06 pm

    Note that there is now a more extensive discussion of this issue, for full members of ShareSoc, on our members’ network at https://sharesoc.ning.com/forum/topics/charles-stanley-direct-csd-ending-crest-personal-membership-for

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