Why the £58 fee to merge shares?
I inquired about merging my two Aviva shareholdings on 15 separate certificates and found this would cost £58. Surely the exercise would help the registrar, Computershare, so why am I having to pay so much?
Please find a copy of the form I received. PC, LANCS
The “Merge Holding Request Form” from Computershare was very puzzling. It stated it may be used to merge only those holdings that are segregated because of minor differences in the name or address.
Then there were two sections that looked and, from the layout of the form, implied they were interlinked. One part referred to holdings to be merged and the other multiple share certificates.
In fact, one process is not dependent on the other. You can merge your holdings in the same company and still have several share certificates.
Computershare said it is necessary to distinguish between merging a number of individual share certificates that represent an investor’s shareholdings and merging the holdings. The former involves exchanging a number of individual share certificates for a consolidated certificate.
This exercise carries, Computershare said, only a little administrative benefit. Such a consolidation requires the registrar to undertake verification work on the certificates supplied, update its records to reflect the cancellation of the certificates, and to issue a new certificate representing the overall balance. This is why an administrative fee is charged when this service is requested.
On the other hand, merging holdings enables the shareholder to access information on the whole of his or her holding in that company in one place. It has the benefits of simplifying both the payments and the administration and Computershare, the registrar concerned here, will facilitate this free of charge.
You were understandably
baffled by what struck me as a ludicrous form that Computershare, after a lot of conversation with me, now admits was very difficult to make sense of.
It has therefore abolished it. No replacement is being issued. Anyone wishing to merge their holdings or certificates should approach Computershare to find out how to proceed. It suggested that customers go to Ask Penny on computershare.com/uk.
The search terminology has been broadened on this after further comments from me. The address is Computershare Investor Services, The Pavilions, Bridgwater Road, Bristol, BS99 6ZZ.
This has been a long and drawn out query with a lot