“I don’t know where my shares are”, is a phrase we often hear from people, and is understandable particularly if you never purposefully bought the shares in the first place, such is the case if you received the shares through an ‘accidental’ event such as demutulisation or inheritance.
Not being able to simply store your shares under the bed means the logistics of share ownership can sometimes appear complicated, especially if you’d like to convert them into cash by selling. The good news is it actually quite simple.
Shares can be acquired a number of different ways, here’s a few of the most common:
- Inheritance from a deceased estate or a gift.
- As a result of the Demutualisation of a member owned organisation. s IAG, AMP, MYS, NIB etc).
- Employee share schemes. Woolworths hands out a large number of shares to employees for example.
- Through an initial public offer (such as Telstra and Medibank).
SRN vs HIN
Regardless of how you came to own them, Australian shares will be held for one of two ways:
Issuer Sponsored by the Company’s Share Registry (Identified with SRN)
If you don’t have a stockbroking account, or if your shares aren’t in your stockbroking account, they will be what’s known as Issuer Sponsored by the company’s share registry.
What is SRN?
Issuer Sponsored shares are tracked using a Security Reference Number (SRN), which is a about ten or eleven digit number beginning with an ‘I’. You will have a different SRN for each different company that you own shares in.
To find your SRN, just look for it on a holding statement or other communication that’s been mailed to you by the company’s share registry. Share registries handle the day-to-day shareholder administration for ASX listed companies. There are a few different shares in Australia which we cover in this post.
If you don’t have any documents showing your SRN, you may wish to use our Electronic SRN search.
CHESS Sponsored by a Stockbroker (Identified with a HIN)
If you have shares in an account with a stockbroker, or online share trading account, they will be what’s known as CHESS sponsored.
This is not the popular board game ‘Chess’, but an acronym for Clearing House Electronic Subregister System, or more simply the system used by the ASX to record share holdings.
What is HIN?
Your stockbroking account will have a unique ten digit number that begins with an ‘X’, called a Holder Identification Number (HIN). All shares in this stockbroking account will be registered to the HIN. It’s also handy to know you that if you have more than one stockbroking account with different brokers, you will have one HIN for each. The great benefit of having shares in a stockbroking account is that you can buy and sell them!
We are able to sell shares that are HIN sponsored by another broker. More on that here.
How do I Sell Shares With a SRN?
Regardless of whether your shares are held Issuer Sponsored at the Share Registry or CHESS sponsored by another stock broker, we are able to do a one off share sale without the hassle of opening a share trading account. Opening an account can prove difficult and unnecessarily time consuming especially if your share sale is just a once off.
Funds will be received directly into your bank account. We can also help track down misplaced or lost SRNs, sort out incorrect name and address details, and even clean up a complete mess of various shareholdings!