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Abolishing paper share certificates in the UK – should we or should we not?

20 October @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Convene events are organised for members of the LSE community.

Speakers: Professor Eva Micheler (LSE); Dr Elena Zaccharia (Brunel)

On 20 July 2022 the UK government announced the establishment of a taskforce driving forward the full digitisation of shareholdings in the UK. Before Brexit the UK would have been required to carry out this step by 2025. With Brexit this requirement has fallen away and it is therefore worth pausing to examine if this step should be performed either at all or if so at what point and under which conditions.

The UK Government has appointed Sir Douglas Flint, the former Group Chair of HSBC Holdings and the current chair of Standard Life Aberdeen to lead a group of industry experts to build a ‘broad consensus’ to ‘eliminate the use of paper certificates for traded companies and mandate the use of additional options to cheques for chase remittances’, to ‘identify means of improving on the current intermediated system of share ownership’, and to ‘consider whether the arrangements for digitisation can be extended to newly formed private companies as well as an option route for existing private companies’. (HM Treasury, Policy Paper Digitisation Taskforce – Terms of Reference, published 20 July 2022).

The paper will argue that there are good reasons to fully digitise the UK securities markets. There are, however, significant problems with the current system for holding securities in digital form. These problems affect retail investors to a greater extent than institutional investors.  On balance the authors believe that the government should first reform the current digital model and only after this has proven to work efficiently also for retail investors remove share certificates from UK law.

This is a presentation of work in progress of a paper jointly authored by Eva Micheler (LSE) and Elena Zaccaria (Brunel).

Professor Eva Micheler
Professor Eva Micheler


20 October
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Event Category:


Law Events


Thai Theatre
Lower ground floor, New Academic Building, LSE WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom + Google Map