Crest Account & Beaufort

4 months ago by
I am not (thankfully) a Beaufort client but my sympathies are with them. I feel that this has unearthed a very important issue that applies to all clients of stockbroking firms whose assets are held in a pooled nominee account. Many of us, myself included, assumed that the ring fencing of our cash and holdings meant exactly what it said but alas this is now shown to be not wholly true. They seem to be isolated in some way such that they are not actually ours at all but are merely waiting for another set of hands to dip in to the pot before we finally get what is left. The answer would seem to be to hold your shares in a Crest account which then means that they are individually registered in your name, but when questioned about this my broker said they don't operate Crest accounts. I believe this is the same for most on line brokerages.and I am glad to see that Share Soc has a campaign running to try and rectify this situation. Personally I would be happy to pay any extra costs involved in the operation of a Crest account and I hope Share Soc achieve success in both this and the Shareholder rights campaign.
Thank you for your support and events at Beaufort help to raise awareness of the importance of our Shareholder Rights Campaign. The reality is that CREST accounts don't cost significantly more for brokers to operate than nominee accounts. It's just that latter give them closer control of YOUR assets, which they prefer E.g. they get to keep dividend payments for a little longer before crediting them to client accounts, whereas dividends from CREST held shares are paid direct to the shareholder; also shares in a CREST account can be more easily dealt by another broker or a registrar.
written 4 months ago by Mark Bentley 

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