UK Shares and trading account


Hopefully not too dumb a question. I have some shares currently held in a trading account with “Interactive Investor”. It was good when I had a bit of a portfolio but now I just have a batch of Tesco shares I hope one day might improve. iii charge me an annual fee just to hold the account open. Is it possible for me to hold the shares without a broker or at least without trading account charges? They say no. But then they would.

AFAIK you don’t own the shares - from their T&C

8.1 Investments that you buy or subscribe for or transfer into your Interactive Investor Account will be held in Safe Custody in your Interactive Investor Account (either in the Nominee or to its order) in accordance with the following arrangements (or such other arrangements as we may notify you of on our Website from time to time).


Most Investments that you buy or subscribe for or transfer into your Interactive Investor Account, such as shares traded on a UK Exchange, will be held in Safe Custody in the Nominee itself. Under this arrangement, the Nominee has legal title to the relevant Investments and you retain the beneficial entitlement at all times.

The explanation of the “Nominee” is given in the preamble

means Investor Nominees Limited, the nominee company owned by us and in whose name certain of your Investments will be registered or held to its order, or any successor or alternative nominee company we may appoint from time to time

Basically the shares are held for you but title to them does not pass to you.

What you can do, of course is sell the holding back to iii, withdraw the cash and buy the shares back with another broker - this isn’t ideal as you will loose out on the dealing spread and you might need to watch the timing so as not to loose dividend payments.

Thanks Paul. Disturbing but informative. Tesco shares tanking and
Sterling too makes selling not too enticing. But Tesco have been
"tanked" for 3 years now and no immediate prospect of improvement.

Some thinking to do perhaps?


This kind of beneficial ownership of shares might be more common that you think, hidden away in the Ts & Cs somewhere. Certainly when I stopped using Brewin Dolphin I found out that this was the case.

Isnt this the reason why people buy physical gold & silver and store it under the bed? In the event of a total financial collapse you cant sell your shares at any price.

Hi Patrick,
You can gat the shares put into Certificate Form. Dont think you need a broker unless you want to sell them.
Sometimes you can buy/sell shares from/to the Company itself but not sure under what circumstances.

I guess.

In normal times gold is not that good an investment - it keeps its value against RPI but not much more.

It is, however, a great investment if you think that there is going to be significant currency devaluation for some reason - war, revolution, Brexit etc.

Lol… Like now for instance with all the money printing going on world wide

Patrick, I would suggest a more proactive approach to your shares unless you buy low and sell high you will only lose money sitting on a share that is never going to reach the price you paid, however painful it is to do that .
Tesco s I would have sold in Feb 2020 and bought something I thought likely to go up in the (say) next 12 to 18 months, without putting all the eggs in one basket though.

It takes a bit of effort checking but quite fun if you enjoy that sort of thing.


Despite massive injection of money post 2007 there has generally not been all that much inflation (i.e devaluation). Probably because it just went to propping up share values - i.e preserving the wealth of the already wealthy.

I am sure they would claim preventing inflation was a public service, or something :slight_smile:

We already know how this story turns out. A paragon for this experiment of unfettered fiscal and monetary profligacy we see in the nation of Japan.
Japan’s debt to GDP ratio is projected to rise to 250% by the end of 2020.
Meanwhile, all Japan’s borrowing (a quadrillion yen outstanding) and money printing has not moved the needle on the nation’s GDP.
Japan’s major equity Benchmark (Nikkei Dow) has endured three major crashes since the year 2000. The Index has only managed to increase about 15% from the start of the new millennia; and yet is still down 40% since 1989.

The conclusion from Japan’s experience is clear. Massive fiscal and monetary stimulus does not at all boost GDP in the long run. In contrast, in rots the economy to its core. Although it can provide for a small gain in stock prices, it also comes with major crashes along the way. And ultimately, it can lead to intractable inflation and economic Armageddon.