No div­i­dends from S African shares

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - READERS’ LETTERS -

I hold shares in a lead­ing South African mo­bile firm.

Some time ago now I re­ceived a div­i­dend cheque in rand which I paid into the lo­cal branch of my bank. The sum ap­peared in the ac­count and then was re­moved from it two months later with­out my know­ing it had been. It tran­spired that the South African bank re­fused to hon­our the cheque.

I wrote to the com­pany, only to be re­ferred to Com­put­er­share Ser­vices, the regis­trar, which in turn re­ferred me to the bank. The bank re­fused to dis­cuss the mat­ter at all.

Could you help me, please? As you can see from the writ­ing, I am el­derly. MA, SCOT­LAND

The sum in ques­tion con­verted to £5,328. When I first ap­proached Com­put­er­share, I dis­cov­ered that it had sent you a form to complete in order to au­tho­rise the div­i­dend be­ing con­verted into ster­ling and paid di­rectly to your bank.

A small fee was payable. How­ever, the form was re­turned in­com­plete. It re­sent it, but Com­put­er­share said it did not get a re­sponse.

Un­known to the regis­trar and to me, your health was de­clin­ing and you were mov­ing into a nurs­ing home.

Your hus­band now has power of at­tor­ney and is frail him­self. When I spoke to him, he hardly had the im­pe­tus to pro­ceed and is now mov­ing into the nurs­ing home him­self.

Com­put­er­share said this could have been re­solved in the first in­stance by you call­ing its of­fice in South Africa and ex­plain­ing the prob­lem.

I am not con­vinced, though, that it would have been as easy for you as it sounds.

Ev­ery­thing was done via post, and the forms and information were never complete on re­ceipt.

Com­put­er­share now un­der­took the nec­es­sary

Many read­ers com­plain that the fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions that are keen to take their money are less will­ing to an­swer le­git­i­mate ques­tions.

ver­i­fi­ca­tion and sent an elec­tronic pay­ment in ster­ling the fol­low­ing day.

As your hus­band says, this mat­ter ended up span­ning al­most two years, but it is such a relief that it is sorted out now.

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