The European Securities Forum is calling for the eradication of paper shares certificates in the UK, saying the move could save the industry up to £230 million over three years.
An Industry Working Group, led by UBS Investment Bank and including representatives from the broker community, the registrars, LSE, CrestCo and industry associations, believe the dismantling of inefficient and paper-based settlement processes would help to maintain the City’s pre-eminence in Europe securities markets.
Werner Frey, CEO of ESF, says: "Dematerialisation would significantly lower the costs for companies, brokers, registrars and the individual investor."
It is estimated that around ten million private investors, representing approximately 15% of UK securities by value, still hold and settle in paper format.
The ESF proposals have been sent to the Department of Trade and Industry for consideration under the forthcoming Company Law Reform Bill due to be published later this year.