How to Sell Paper Share Certificates

In the days before electronic / online share trading – shares were issued in the form of paper certificates.
These share certificates would typically have the name of the shareholder, the number of shares held and the name of the company the shares are held in.

These days, when you buy shares from a broker, the most common way is to open what’s called a ‘nominee account’. This allows you to own shares without becoming involved in any of the paperwork. You are still the legal owner of the shares, but your name will not appear on the company’s share register.

Selling Paper Share Certificates

If you are in Ireland and still have some paper share certs and you want to sell them – this is one way of going about it .

  • First of all – your paper share certificate must be “dematerialised” – i.e. transferred into electronic form.
  • You will then need to open an online account with a broker in Ireland – Davy stockbrokers will allow you to do this online
  • It could take anything from two to six weeks- to dematerialise the shares and apply them in electronic form to your online broker account in Ireland.

Note: Transfers of shares into an online stock broker account will be subject to discretion. Some brokers may not want to deal with small-value shares.

  • Once the paper shares have been converted to electronic form – you will be able to sell them.
  • If you sell the shares through Davy stockbrokers – they will charge a transaction fee of 0.5%. That equates to €50 on every €10000
  • For large-value transactions – it may be more cost-effective to transfer the shares to another online broker with lower charges and sell through them . (I.e Degiro) .
  • Davy will charge €30 euro per holding to transfer to another broker such as Degiro
  • You must first check that the shares you are transferring can be held in Degiro. Just open an account online with Degiro for free and then you can see if the same shares are available to buy on Degiro. Or you could get in touch with their online help and ask them.
  • The vast majority of shares should be OK.

Example of Fees

If you hold €50,000 worth of shares on paper certs.

Using Davy to Sell compared with using Degiro

  • Open Davy account and transfer in the shares = no fee.
  • The first quarterly fee at Davy = €50
  • Open a Degiro account (free)
  • Davy fee transfer out = €30
  • Transfer fee inwards to Degiro €10
  • Sell on Degiro = €3 flat rate
  • Add on the transfer fees of €40 = Total Fees of €93

  • If you just sold the shares through Davy the transaction fee of 0.5% would be €250 .

If the total value of the shares is less than €20k – you may as well sell on Davy. (Total fee of €100)

But you will save money on higher-value holdings by transferring the shares to Degiro before selling.
If you want to keep the shares – then the annual fee on Degiro is free for Irish shares – but with Davy it would be €200 a year.

Please note that Investing involves risk of loss.