Halifax plans windfall share-dealing service

Halifax Building Society is launching a new Shareholder Account to provide an easy-to-use and inexpensive share dealing service for its 8 million members when they receive their free shares in the summer, writes Clifford German.

Members who want to keep their Halifax shares will be able to hold them free of charge in a Shareholder Account for at least three years.

Account-holders will be able to own, buy and sell their Halifax shares, attend shareholders' meetings, and speak and vote, all without having to keep the share certificate. Dividend cheques will be paid into the account and regular statements issued, the aim being to take the strain out of being a first-time shareholder.

Account-holders will also have exclusive access to a Halifax share dealing service, which will be launched to coincide with the start of share dealings in June. For the first 10 days after dealings begin they will be able to sell their windfall shares free of charge.

Initially account-holders will only be able to hold Halifax shares but at some future date they will be able to hold other shares as well. A Halifax share PEP will also be available.

Members will be told late this month or early next how many free shares they can look forward to getting when the society converts into a bank and floats on the stock market.

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