Replacing a lost share certificate
July 21, 2009 10:27 PM   Subscribe

How can my British friend sell Ryanair shares when the stock certificate is lost?

My friend has a couple of thousand pounds worth of shares in Ryanair which she wants to sell, but she can't find the stock certificate. She bought the shares through her bank maybe seven years ago (possibly in 2002 but that's only approximate, and it might be as little as four years) but the bank says they have no record. It's probably too small a holding to interest a stockbroker, but it's a significant amount to her, and needed for university. The certificate was lost in the last three or four months, if that makes a difference; she had it in March.

What's the best way to get into a position to sell the shares? Is a replacement certificate obtainable and if so how? I'm assuming the approximate details she currently has are not enough to make a sale possible.

RyanAir have been sending annual reports to my friend, at her Cambridge, U.K, address, though she moved a few months ago. Would Ryanair have a record of the shares she owns, and if so how would she get confirmation?

(An added complication is that neither she nor I are in Europe at present; she'll be back in England mid-August but hopes/needs to get things moving before then.)
posted by anadem to Work & Money (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
There should be a Shareholder Services/Investor Relations department. Contact their corporate office and ask to speak to that department, and they should be able to replace the certificate.
posted by jayder at 10:36 PM on July 21, 2009

People lose share certs all the time. Don't stress.

Call head office and ask for the name/number of the share registrar. (Capita IRG Plc, according to this)

Call them, explain the problem. You'll likely have to complete a stat dec, and wait a while.

NB: DO NOT SELL THE SHARES until you know you can settle.
posted by pompomtom at 11:29 PM on July 21, 2009

As above, contact the share registrar.

According to my lawyer, if you don't have the cert you will have to pay a fee which is, in part, an insurance payment to insure the registrar against you (or someone else) then fraudulently selling the original certificates.

IIRC, it's something like £25 for each certificate lost. So if it's two lots of 500 shares (instead of one 1000) then it might be £50...
posted by twine42 at 2:22 AM on July 22, 2009

I lost control of a certificate once (complicated story - I moved outside the country, so my broker couldn't do business with me anymore, closed my account and sent the certificate to an old address, it was fun!)

Took me a long time to figure out what to do, but basically yeah, in my case there was a registrar - not the company but a bank. The tricky part was finding this out and figuring out who I needed to contact. When I did, they still had me as the owner of record and, in fact had directly taken over administering my shares when the brokerage account vanished and had been trying to send me dividend checks all along (though of course they'd been going to the wrong address). So they helpfully sent me the back dividends, and replaced the certificate.

I did indeed have to pay a security bond to get it, which was payable to an insurance company. As twine42 noted, it's to protect them in case the original certificate suddenly "turns up" in the market. In my case it was not a fixed fee per certificate but (I think) 2% of the value of the shares. Not a deal breaker, but kind of annoying. If your friend can turn up the original, that would obviously be better, but she'll be okay. This is all happening in the US and Canada, BTW, which may explain the procedural differences.
posted by Naberius at 6:54 AM on July 22, 2009

Great info, thanks all!
posted by anadem at 8:50 AM on July 22, 2009

Nthing contacting the Registrar, this what the Registrar does, maintains the register of shares on behalf of a company.

For the benefit of other mefites who have lost shares, the company website will more than likely list its Registrar, the big two in the UK are Capita and Computershare.

You can call and email but they're just going to ask you to write a letter. They'll respond with a form to fill out and will tell you how much it'll cost. Once they get all the info back they will issue a Letter of Indemnity. You can use the LOI to sell the shares.

See the Lost Cert FAQ here:

If your friend has married since she bought the shares then shes going to have to send them her marriage certificate which may be tricky if abroad.

I used to work for a Registrar. (Worst. Job. Ever.) They'll have a database but it'll be all about the shares, not the customer so don't go expecting stellar levels of customer service especially over the phone. Write letters - stuff on paper is what they understand.
posted by Ness at 9:04 AM on July 22, 2009

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