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  • FIRST POST
    • The_Doc
    • By The_Doc 13th Apr 18, 2:34 PM
    • 78Posts
    • 56Thanks
    The_Doc
    Unable to do stock transfer to spouse who is non UK citizen
    • #1
    • 13th Apr 18, 2:34 PM
    Unable to do stock transfer to spouse who is non UK citizen 13th Apr 18 at 2:34 PM
    I am looking to transfer some stock to my wife's name and then sell it to take advantage of her CGT allowance. So I called up Fidelity where the fund is held to clarify what National Identifier was needed on the stock transfer form (as my wife is a French citizen).

    The guy went away and came back to tell me that it is no longer possible to do stock transfers to non-UK citizens due to new legislation (which legislation he couldn't say). He couldn't say when it came into force but that it applies to all other financial services companies.

    He recommended that I speak to a Financial Adviser as it is a complex issue (too complex for him to explain anyway)!

    Has anyone else experienced this or can confirm what I am being told? My wife is a UK resident with a NI number but has French nationality not British and been here in the UK over 30 years.

    I was shocked.
Page 1
    • grey gym sock
    • By grey gym sock 14th Apr 18, 2:12 AM
    • 4,274 Posts
    • 3,791 Thanks
    grey gym sock
    • #2
    • 14th Apr 18, 2:12 AM
    • #2
    • 14th Apr 18, 2:12 AM
    i suspect their explanation is not quite accurate. there has been some stepping-up in how much financial service providers have to do to "know their customer". that doesn't preclude them from dealing with ex-UK citizens, but there may be more stringent compliance requirement when dealing with ex-UK citizens, and it is possible that fidelity have decided to have a policy of not dealing with ex-UK citizens to avoid that.

    what exactly are you asking them to do? do you want investments transferred away from fidelity's platform into your wife's name, or into an account in her name with fidelity? i would be surprised if the latter would be a problem - providing she has, or they'll let her open, an account with them - but perhaps they won't (from what you say - otherwise, i don't know).

    if you want to move investments away from fidelity, then i wouldn't be surprised if they have a problem with changing the beneficial owner at the same time. what about first transferring investments away from fidelity but still in your name, and afterwards transferring them into your wife's name? if the aim is to get the investments into your wife's existing account on some other platform, that would require you also to have an account with that platform. or if we are talking about shares that can be held in certificated form, you could ask fidelity for a certificate in your name, and then ask the company registrar to re-issue a certificate in your wife's name.
    • The_Doc
    • By The_Doc 14th Apr 18, 10:55 AM
    • 78 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    The_Doc
    • #3
    • 14th Apr 18, 10:55 AM
    • #3
    • 14th Apr 18, 10:55 AM
    Thanks for the response, GGS.

    The fund in question is Fidelity Special Situations and my wife has an account with Fidelity and has done so for many years. Hence my surprise.

    The guy I spoke to said this would apply to all financial services organisations, but as you say it may be just Fidelity's interpretations of the rules.

    I did say that I would look at transferring my holding elsewhere if others will allow this and Fidelity wont.I have raised a question via the message system to get an official response.

    If there are any IFAs reading this, it would be interesting to get their response. Are they aware of such legislation?
    • DesG
    • By DesG 15th Apr 18, 10:08 AM
    • 1,249 Posts
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    DesG
    • #4
    • 15th Apr 18, 10:08 AM
    • #4
    • 15th Apr 18, 10:08 AM
    She is a UK resident, why are you making things complicated?

    There are restrictions for non-UK residents, but your wife isn't one of those.
    • Economic
    • By Economic 15th Apr 18, 11:24 AM
    • 229 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    Economic
    • #5
    • 15th Apr 18, 11:24 AM
    • #5
    • 15th Apr 18, 11:24 AM
    I am looking to transfer some stock to my wife's name and then sell it to take advantage of her CGT allowance. So I called up Fidelity where the fund is held to clarify what National Identifier was needed on the stock transfer form (as my wife is a French citizen).

    The guy went away and came back to tell me that it is no longer possible to do stock transfers to non-UK citizens due to new legislation (which legislation he couldn't say). He couldn't say when it came into force but that it applies to all other financial services companies.

    He recommended that I speak to a Financial Adviser as it is a complex issue (too complex for him to explain anyway)!

    Has anyone else experienced this or can confirm what I am being told? My wife is a UK resident with a NI number but has French nationality not British and been here in the UK over 30 years.

    I was shocked.
    Originally posted by The_Doc
    What is the problem? Just put her NI number down as the national identifier!
    • The_Doc
    • By The_Doc 15th Apr 18, 1:44 PM
    • 78 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    The_Doc
    • #6
    • 15th Apr 18, 1:44 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Apr 18, 1:44 PM
    I simply called Fidelity to get clarification and on which National Identifiers were applicable for a non UK citizen but who is a UK resident. Then they told me it was no longer possible even though I told them that she has an account with Fidelity, hence the question as to whether anyone knew of any new legislation that would prevent this.

    I wish I hadn't asked them and just provided the NI number as you say.
    • EdSwippet
    • By EdSwippet 15th Apr 18, 2:05 PM
    • 698 Posts
    • 656 Thanks
    EdSwippet
    • #7
    • 15th Apr 18, 2:05 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Apr 18, 2:05 PM
    ... hence the question as to whether anyone knew of any new legislation that would prevent this.
    Originally posted by The_Doc
    My guess is that the culprit here is the CRS, potentially with a side-order of FATCA.

    Because of these and other overbearing and now overlapping international reporting regimes, many financial institutions have become reluctant to handle anything with a hint of 'foreign' about it. More often than not, it is a simple commercial decision; easier to refuse everything 'foreign' than to try to work out the correct tax reporting regulations to apply to it.

    Of course, only Fidelity can know the real reasoning here. (Or at least, should know, although apparently they do not.)

    I wish I hadn't asked them and just provided the NI number as you say.
    Originally posted by The_Doc
    Is it too late to just proceed as if you had not asked them? On the face of things it seems that Fidelity are overreacting here.

    It may be too late, of course, if they have placed some marker or restriction on you or your wife's account. But you could just send in the form(s) that way anyway and see what happens. At least you have plenty of time to work on this as we are only just at the start of the tax year.
    • sjp999
    • By sjp999 15th Apr 18, 2:08 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 34 Thanks
    sjp999
    • #8
    • 15th Apr 18, 2:08 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Apr 18, 2:08 PM
    I wonder how much detail the previous customer service rep noted regarding your initial call, perhaps an attempt at CSR roulette, supplying just the bare minimum of detail this time around, might result in a more favourable response.

    ETA need to speed up my typing
    Last edited by sjp999; 15-04-2018 at 2:10 PM. Reason: previous post pretty much said the same thing.
    • The_Doc
    • By The_Doc 15th Apr 18, 2:11 PM
    • 78 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    The_Doc
    • #9
    • 15th Apr 18, 2:11 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Apr 18, 2:11 PM
    After I hung up the initial call, I submitted a message via their internal messaging system. I will see what they say in reply. Maybe then I will just submit the form anyway, nothing to lose except the price of a stamp.
    • bowlhead99
    • By bowlhead99 15th Apr 18, 3:05 PM
    • 7,695 Posts
    • 14,075 Thanks
    bowlhead99
    My guess is that the culprit here is the CRS, potentially with a side-order of FATCA.

    Because of these and other overbearing and now overlapping international reporting regimes, many financial institutions have become reluctant to handle anything with a hint of 'foreign' about it. More often than not, it is a simple commercial decision; easier to refuse everything 'foreign' than to try to work out the correct tax reporting regulations to apply to it.
    Originally posted by EdSwippet
    Neither CRS nor FATCA impose any kind of reporting requirements on UK residents with French citizenship.

    The requirement will be in relation to the MIFID II / PRIIPs regulations which landed in January, where a national ID is required to be captured for each customer for transaction reporting. If you have two nationalities you'll typically be required to tell your financial services provider both of them. Unlike some countries which use tax IDs, passport number or other national numbers, France has not specified one particular number to use and the financial services provider will make one up by jamming together a country code, date of birth and letters from your first and last names.

    However, this doesn't mean that Fidelity actually want to deal with transferring assets to foreign nationals, French or otherwise .But if both customers were already properly-documented customers of Fidelity and the fund, it would be the sort of thing that would sail through without issue.

    Of course, only Fidelity can know the real reasoning here. (Or at least, should know, although apparently they do not.)
    Apparently some of the junior staff who speak to customers do not, but they don't get to sit at the high level strategic meetings where such things are decided upon, and their services would be more expensive if junior staff had to be trained on things they'd rarely come across.

    After I hung up the initial call, I submitted a message via their internal messaging system. I will see what they say in reply. Maybe then I will just submit the form anyway, nothing to lose except the price of a stamp.
    Originally posted by The_Doc
    If your wife already had a small investment in Fidelity Special Sits, via Fidelity - quite independently of you wanting to transfer something to her - which I'm sure they would let her, being a UK resident; then there shouldn't be any kind of issue in transferring some shares/ units in the fund from one properly documented accountholder to another.
    Last edited by bowlhead99; 15-04-2018 at 3:07 PM.
    • The_Doc
    • By The_Doc 15th Apr 18, 3:22 PM
    • 78 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    The_Doc
    Thanks BH99. I am hoping that it is, as you say, a junior member of staff who doesn't want to get himself in to trouble by verbally approving something that he thinks may be against the rules. We will see.
    • The_Doc
    • By The_Doc 18th Apr 18, 9:56 PM
    • 78 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    The_Doc
    I received an apology from Fidelity for the confusion caused.The agent had misinterpreted MIFID II. There is no issue in performing a stock transfer to another UK resident, irrespective of their nationality.

    It wasn't just him, but also the colleague he went away to consult. A little bit of training is called for, methinks.
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