Receiving dividend cheques in foreign currency

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dc197
dc197 Posts: 812 Forumite
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edited 3 May 2017 at 12:27PM in Savings & investments
Hello
Could you please help me with this issue about receiving share dividends cheques in a foreign currency.

I own shares in my employer company, a foreign entity, and I used to receive dividend payments in GBP. They did this either by sending me GBP through Faster Payments from the UK branch, or sometimes by sending my dollars through electronic deposit with automatic conversion by my bank (SWIFT).

Now the company has gone public on a foreign stock exchange and they want to send payments only in dollars. That's OK, I can understand that. But they insist on sending me a paper cheque.

Sometime I receive multiple cheques at once, with the value of a cheque sometimes being as small as $10.

Paying £5-10 to deposit each dollar cheque in my GBP account is not worth it.

What alternatives do I have please? Is there a bank which will charge me once for each batch of cheques? Is there a bank which will allow me to open an account in AUD without extortionate fees?

Thanks in advance

DC

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  • dc197
    dc197 Posts: 812 Forumite
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    If I have put this into the wrong section, could someone please move it for me.

    Thanks
  • xylophone
    xylophone Posts: 44,587 Forumite
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    Is it really the case that all their investors are paid by cheque?

    If you had a dollar account, would they remit dollars?
  • Owain_Moneysaver
    Owain_Moneysaver Posts: 11,360 Forumite
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    If you don't actually need the dividend now could you request a scrip dividend (ie where they pay the dividend by giving you more shares in the company)?

    That way your shareholding would increase without any dealing fees or currency conversion costs.

    Of course the value of the shares might fall leaving you wishing you'd kept the dividend in cash.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
  • dc197
    dc197 Posts: 812 Forumite
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    edited 3 May 2017 at 12:28PM
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    Hello
    THanks for your comments.

    Answers.
    1. All investors outside Australia (registered HQ) (and strangely also NZ) who do not hold an Aussie or Kiwi bank account are paid by cheque, yes.
    2. If I had a dollar account, I could cash the dividend cheques without a charge, and once the balance was decent I could convert (once) to GBP. This could be a good option for me, but I'd not want to pay hefty bank fees to hold/open the dollar account. Any recommendations please?

    3. Yes, such a concept exists. They call it the "dividend re-investment program". But alas it's only available to investors in Australia (and again strangely also NZ). Sigh!

    Cheers
  • bowlhead99
    bowlhead99 Posts: 12,295 Forumite
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    Do you actually have the share certificates for all your shares or are they held for you by your employers because they're locked up in some share scheme?

    If you have the share certificates and are free to do what you like with them, and the company is listed on a recognised stock exchange, the obvious thing to do would be to open up an account with a stockbroker which deals on that exchange and deposit your certificates with them.

    The broker would 'dematerialise' the shares (i.e. turn them electronic rather than paper) and you would still be the beneficial owner of the share but via the broker's nominee company - i.e. the investor on the share register would be "ABCXYZ Stockbroker Nominees Limited" instead of "Joe Bloggs", while ABCXYZ would have internal records and reconciliations to show that (e.g.) out of the 1,000,000 shares they held, 8429 of them belong to Joe Bloggs and the rest belong to their other customers.

    When they get invitations from the company secretary to vote etc, the broker would provide the online facility for you to vote on 8429 out of their million votes. And when they receive the dividends on a million shares, they credit your online account with the cash relating to 8429 of them. This would either be in AUD (if the broker does multicurrency cash accounts) or GBP after the broker converts the proceeds with a loaded exchange rate to skim off a percent or so of the dividend for himself.

    Try someone like TD Direct Investing (https://www.tddirectinvesting.co.uk/share-dealing) as a UK-based broker that covers 17 international exchanges including Australia. Other brokers are available of course.
  • dc197
    dc197 Posts: 812 Forumite
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    edited 5 May 2017 at 3:53PM
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    xylophone wrote: »


    Thanks for the suggestion. Yes, I looked into opening an account with an Aussie bank, but all the ones I looked at only allowed Brits to do this when they were planning to move to the land of Aus. They require you to present your visa etc at a local branch once you move. So those were not suitable for me.

    The HSBC foreign currency account is the kind of thing I want, but not for £5 per month!

    bowlhead99 wrote: »
    Do you actually have the share certificates for all your shares or are they held for you by your employers because they're locked up in some share scheme?

    If you have the share certificates and are free to do what you like with them, and the company is listed on a recognised stock exchange, the obvious thing to do would be to open up an account with a stockbroker which deals on that exchange and deposit your certificates with them.

    The broker would 'dematerialise' the shares (i.e. turn them electronic rather than paper) and you would still be the beneficial owner of the share but via the broker's nominee company - i.e. the investor on the share register would be "ABCXYZ Stockbroker Nominees Limited" instead of "Joe Bloggs", while ABCXYZ would have internal records and reconciliations to show that (e.g.) out of the 1,000,000 shares they held, 8429 of them belong to Joe Bloggs and the rest belong to their other customers.

    When they get invitations from the company secretary to vote etc, the broker would provide the online facility for you to vote on 8429 out of their million votes. And when they receive the dividends on a million shares, they credit your online account with the cash relating to 8429 of them. This would either be in AUD (if the broker does multicurrency cash accounts) or GBP after the broker converts the proceeds with a loaded exchange rate to skim off a percent or so of the dividend for himself.

    Try someone like TD Direct Investing (https://www.tddirectinvesting.co.uk/share-dealing) as a UK-based broker that covers 17 international exchanges including Australia. Other brokers are available of course.


    I have paper certificates showing the shares' serial numbers from when the company was not public, but now everything is electronic and held on an Aussie registry of some sort. The paper "certificates" I hold are just Word documents, pfffff.
    Good idea about moving to a British proxy. As my employer as has advised I do the same, I think that this must be the way forward.



    Cheers guys
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