Digitisation of the share registration industry is long overdue and is a change that EQ strongly supports. The recent M&S ‘Share Your Voice’ campaign aligns with our view of how the industry could be developed for the better; maximising the benefit to companies and shareholders.
Despite the constraints of the current Company’s Act we pride ourselves on delivering a digital and automated service to our issuer clients and their shareholders, as appropriate.
This approach speeds up shareholder queries and offers low-maintenance and cost efficient services. Our current technology roadmap focuses on work in the digital transformation space and is primed to respond to any potential future changes in regulation. We are achieving this by bringing more retail shareholders to our digital platforms, whilst taking into account the needs of the digitally excluded or vulnerable customers.
The publication of the Austin review - and the formation of the Digitisation Task Force provides the opportunity to shape, drive and implement legislative change. This change will serve to further the digitalisation of our industry. It will enable issuers to conduct more efficient secondary capital raising exercises, help in identifying beneficial ownership through digital means, and remove the need for share certificates.
It also provides an opportunity to legislate to allow for electronic corporate communication - and ongoing interaction between issuers and investors – including, where appropriate, at shareholder meetings.
We fully support M&S with ‘Share Your Voice’ and look forward to working on developments in this space together.