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Abolition of Bearer Shares

In March 2015 The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act received Royal Assent. The implementation of the act will be rolled out in stages, with some parts already in effect.

Effective from May 2015 share warrants to bearer (known as bearer shares) were abolished. Bearer Shares were shares issued by a company, but assigned to a warrant, rather than a registered owner. The warrant permitted the bearer to claim ownership or rights attached to those shares.

Due to the absence of the owners details on the register of members it was sometime difficult to identify the true owner. Bearer shares have therefore been abolished with the view to improving corporate transparency and ownership.

In keeping with the governments focus on corporate transparency, this means all shares must now have a designated owner.
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