US-listed shares in a UK ISA?

edited 24 June 2013 at 1:58PM in ISAs & tax-free savings
5 replies 1.9K views
4.8K Posts
edited 24 June 2013 at 1:58PM in ISAs & tax-free savings
My job package includes a share scheme, whereby the company gives me shares each year. Typically they "vest", i.e. become my sellable property, after about 3 years.

These shares are held in an eTrade account that my employer set up, one for each employee. The company is American, and its shares are listed in the USA.

Some years ago, I worked for a different American company who had a similar scheme. An important difference was that your shares could be transferred into what was then called a PEP, i.e. you could switch your shares into a tax-sheltered vehicle, and the capital gain from that point on was tax-free.

I'd like to do something similar with the current shares, but to do so I would need an ISA provider who allows you to place non-UK shares in it. Does anyone know of one, or of how I might find one?

Edit: I have Googled around but what I have found, mainly, is articles telling me to sell them and hold something else, or articles that tell me it's possible but don't identify anyone who offers this facility.


  • LokoloLokolo Forumite
    20.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts
    Most providers take them as long as they are listed on the main exchanges.

    Just search for share dealing account providers; TD Waterhouse, Hargreaves Lansdown, e-trade etc.
  • Im pretty sure any self respecting share broker will be able to hold your US shares for you providing they are listed on one of the main stock exchanges.

    I hold some Swiss listed shares via the selftrade online broker. The number of countries shares you can buy and hold these days is endless.

    For US shares you normally you need to fill out a W-8BEN form.

    See here:-

    No requirement to hold within an ISA, but it wise if you anticipate a taxable gain.
  • planteriaplanteria Forumite
    5.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    you can certainly hold US shares in an ISA, i do so myself, and most providers will allow this.
    whether you can 'transfer in' or would need to sell & buy, i am unsure.
  • steampoweredsteampowered Forumite
    6.1K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I hold NASDAQ and NYSE listed shares through my ISA. My broker is, but I am sure many other brokers also offer this service.
  • PorcupinePorcupine Forumite
    682 Posts
    You can hold US shares in a UK ISA on a platform that supports that. However the question then becomes whether you have to sell them to re-buy them inside the ISA ('bed and ISA') or whether you can transfer them in directly. 'Sharesave' schemes may have restrictions on whether you can sell the shares.

    Bed and ISA is typically for CGT reasons (so you crystallise gains to make use of your CGT allowances before importing them). But given the ISA limits I suspect it would be awkward to transfer in stock into the ISA without converting it to cash first with a concrete valuation (cash which you put cash into the ISA to buy the shares).

    If these aren't liquid shares, I wonder if there's a way of handling the selling - eg you sell shares to bank for agreed value £X. Put proceeds into ISA, buy shares back from bank, you never have to go to the open market for a valuation (with wide spreads). But I suspect something in the ISA rules would prevent price-fixing (agree total value of shares to be 50p, look how many will fit in your ISA allowance...)
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