How To Get Back Unclaimed Dividends & Process e-dividends


 

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As an investor in shares it is very likely that you may have come across incidences of unpaid dividends either due to the dividend warrants getting expired or the dividend warrants never even getting to you at all. Recently, I embarked on a mission to get back some of my unclaimed dividends from yester years as well as ensure I never again miss out on my return on investments, otherwise called dividends. Here is a step by step guide of how I did it.

Get a List of All Your Shares: The first thing I did was to visit my stockbroker requesting for an updated list of all the stocks that I own in the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS). You can actually get this printed online yourself if you register with the CSCS. I also took a list of all the share certificates I have just to be sure my entire portfolio is accounted for.

Obtain a list of the respective Registrar’s for the Stocks you own: Every company listed on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange has a unique Registrar that manages their outstanding shares on their behalf. The Registrars are mandated to manage all shareholder issues such as dividends, public offers, share certificates, bonus issues etc. on behalf of companies. Therefore if you are to get back your dividends you will have to know who your registrars are.

Sign a Share Transfer Form: The stockbroker will give you a share transfer form for each of the shares you own. The form basically mandates the stockbroker to act as your agent, thus giving them the powers to   process your unpaid dividends with your respective registrars. This service typically requires a token fee depending on the stockbroker. The fees can be a flat amount or percentage of the dividends you are expecting. These all depends on the value of your dividends. The alternative will be for you to approach the registrars one by one by yourself just to get your unpaid dividends sorted out. This can be time consuming if you do not have the luxury of time for this. However, it does save you some fees which you would have paid to your stockbroker. This process can last within a month or more depending on the efficiency of the registrar and the commitment of your stockbroker. You will also need to follow them up very often to ensure that you get your dividends on time.

Processing E-Dividends: I also used the same opportunity to process my e-dividends registration. E-dividend registration is basically a solution to the incidences of unpaid dividends. By registering for E-dividends, your registrars simply credits your bank account whenever dividend is paid out by any of your companies. This process completely avoids the more common paper dividends and has the added benefits of ensuring that you never lose your dividends and that they get paid to you on time. Considering that I still received a number of paper dividends I informed my stockbroker that I wanted to switch to E-dividends. I was then given a set of E-dividend forms of the respective registrars for each of the companies I owned shares in following which I filled the forms.

A typical E-dividend form will contain the name of the bank which you intend your dividend to be paid into, the address of the bank,  Nuban Bank account number, sort code, the name and address of the shareholder, name of stockbroker, email address, company seal (if it is a registered company) etc. Registrars typically have various formats but contain basically the same information.

Visit your Bank: After filling and signing the forms, you will have to take a copy to the banks as well for them to sign. Without the bank’s signature on your forms the e-dividend form may not fly. I found this quite rigorous as well as I hate to visit banks and prefer to transact online. However, considering the sensitivity of e-dividends, it is understandable that they make the process a lot more thorough. You can prefer to use one bank only for your e-dividends if you do not like the stress of having to visit multiple banks and going through the same process all over again. Another advantage one bank gives you is that it makes dividend monitoring very easy as you only have to check one bank statement when it’s time to reconcile your dividends.

Back to the stockbroker or registrar: Once you are done with signing the e-dividend forms take it to your stockbroker, if you had mandated them to process your e-dividend on your behalf. Remember, you may have to give them a power of attorney to do that. Otherwise, you take the forms to the respective registrars yourself for them to complete the final leg of the registration. Again, the timeline for this depends on the registrar and how efficient they are in processing e-dividends.

You should also use this opportunity to follow up with your stockbroker or registrar about your past dividends which I had mentioned earlier. Remember, e-dividends will only be paid for subsequent dividends and not the ones that had already being paid but not credited to you.

 

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What others say about : How To Get Back Unclaimed Dividends & Process e-dividends..


Felix

I can relate to the above write-up. For a couple of years now I have been going through this maze of procedures and policies just to locate and keep track of my shares in only three companies. For someone used to simplicity and efficiency of getting the same things done in the west, it has been a very frustrating process dealing with registrars, stockbrokers and banks in Nigeria. Even emails and text messages take forver to reply, and so-called customer service phone numbers are hardly answered. At one point, I wanted to forget the whole thing.

The worst part is that every identifying document has to come from Nigeria, even when you have not been in Nigeria for 20 years; postage stamps, affidavits, references, etc. There is no provision in the rules and regulations governing these processes to accomodate Diaspora Nigerians, and that is very wrong, especially in a world where international transactions are becoming more seamless.

There is that expectation by those living outside Nigeria, that such services as banking, insurance, share purchase, etc should not be a nightmare in this day and age, given the explosion of information technology; unfortunate, one is greatly disappointed that Nigerian businesses are light years behind, and this negatively affects investment revenue inflow to the country.

Ugodre

Thanks for your comment. I believe with e-dividends you will get better and speedy value for your investments

olatunjiogunwale

l dont know where to start, my late dad left some shares under my name, original will still with the administrator who refuse to do anything since 20 yrs daddy has left. But photocopy of the will with me. Many shares certificate has lost due to change of postal box. what can l do now .pls, reply me via my e-mail thanks

John

I bought dangote flour shares at UBA bank by 2008. During the process I filled my oceanic bank account on the form which I used to receive my dividend. I left the bank when they became ECObank and since then I’ve done nothing about my dividends. December 20015 I received a CD from Tiger Brands that has my Account number and annual report and also states that I have unclaimed dividend 1-5. Please how do I go about claiming these dividends and also updating my current bank details so that I receive the dividends at where am banking with. I’ll appreciate any reply you send to my email. Thank you.

Bm

Some shares were bought by two different people for me in my name when i was young(below 18). I want to claim my dividends now,how do i go about it?

Grace

i bought 3ooo unit shares of Fidelity 8 years ago nd im yet to get my certicate , ive been outside the country for some time now and i dont even know whats up with my shares

Grace

infact is was 10 years ago while i was studying at Unilag, their agent came to Unilag and i bought 3000 units. moreso the bank details i gave them has being closerd for sure cause i ve been outside the country for some years now. how can u be of help please

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