Learn how to Validate and Claim your expired Dividend Warrants

This articles explains how you can verify, validate and claim your expired or unclaimed dividends from your registrar.

What are dividends? 

Dividends are returns paid to shareholders of a company out of the profits by the company. They are paid periodically upon recommendation by the board of directors and subsequent approval by shareholders of the company at the Annual General Meeting.

How are dividends paid

How is it paid?

Dividend are issued via dividend warrants or bonus issues and are mailed to shareholders or credited directly to your bank accounts if you filled an e-dividend or e-bonus accounts with the company’s registrar.


How many types of dividend do we have?

We have cash dividends or script dividends. Cash dividends are paid periodically out of the profits of a company. Cash dividends can also be paid when a company has been liquidated and there is still some money to share after creditors have been paid off.

Bonus issues are also dividends, except that they are not cash payments. They are dividends issued in the form of shares to shareholders which they can now decide to sell in the stock market in exchange for cash.

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Payment of dividend

I am a shareholder but wasn’t paid dividends.

If you purchased shares of a company after the register is closed (ex-div date) you will not receive dividends. The ex-div date is the cut-off date for payment of dividend and also the date upon which the share price trades less the amount of dividend per share that will be paid.

As such, when a company declares dividends it usually accompanies such announcement with a date for closure of register. Therefore, the shareholders that will get dividends are those whose names appear on the register on or before the date of closure of register. If you purchase shares after the register is closed (ex-div) you will not be paid dividends for that period.

Can you use an example? 

For example, a company can announce proposed dividend on the Feb 13 2014, closure of register for March 14 2014 and pay dividends April 4th 2014. Those who bought or own shares in the company on or before March 14th 2014 will qualify for dividends. Therefore if you buy shares in the company after March 14, you will not qualify for that dividends.

The period between March 14th and April 4th is the ex-div period as such March 14th is when the share price will be “marked down”.


Dividends after ex-div

What if I sell after the Ex-div period?

You will still receive dividends as your name is in the register before the Ex-div period kicked in. However, you will not receive subsequent dividends for the shares sold.

 I bought shares before the ex-div and did not get dividend

This may be as a result of the dividend warrants being lost in transit or delivered to the wrong address. You should visit your registrars if your dividend warrant is not delivered to you or your account is not credited at least one month after the payment date. Your registrars will confirm to you what the problem is and will regularize it as soon as possible.

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validate dividend

I have expired dividend warrants 

Dividend warrants are like cheques and expire after 6 months. However, dividends can be revalidated if it is taken to the registrars. Once the warrants have been verified they revalidate the dividend warrant and you can now go ahead and pay it into your bank account. It is always good to cash in on your dividend warrant no matter how small because it is the returns on your investment.

I do not have a current account 

Dividend as mentioned are like cheques and will ordinarily be accepted only in current accounts of banks. Therefore, a shareholder without a current account may not be able to pay the dividend warrant into a savings account. Though, some banks have quasi current account products that can accept dividend warrants.

If you only have a savings accounts, I suggest you try opening a current accounts or go for accounts that can accept dividend warrants to be able to receive your payments. Better still an e-dividend option is recommended.


What is an e-dividends

What is an E-dividend?

E-dividend is an electronic transfer of dividends into shareholder’s account without relying on the physical dividend warrant. To however, enjoy e-dividend you will have to fill an e-dividend authorization form and submit it with your bank. That way, you will receive dividends in a savings or current account.

I have dividend warrants but not in my name

Dividend warrants that are not in your name obviously does not belong to you directly. However, if they are shares that have been transferred to you before the ex-div date you can go to your registrar to regularize the discrepancy. If they were however transferred to you in error, you should return it to the registrars of the company.

The name of registrars of the company is always written on a dividend warrant. You can also return it to the corporate affairs department of the company that is paying the dividend.

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  1. Gude sir i bought transcorp shares and even since them i have not be paid my dividend, before now they use to send me text messages for AGM meetings. since four years now i ve not received any text. pls how will i go about it and i want them to pay my dividend directly to my bank account. I ll be very greatful if my request is granted thanks.

  2. Very helpful blog. Got a stack of expired dividend warrants from various companies for a deceased parent. What do i need to do ?

  3. What of shares bought through a stockbroker. Do I have to fill the e-dividend form for all the shares in my CSCS account or is the dividend credited directly to my stockbroking account? And if I have to fill the e-dividend form what will be the account no for the shares? Is it my account no with my stockbroker? Since there is no physical certificates.

  4. I have a bunch of unclaimed dividends from way back 2009. I live overseas.
    I contacted a Registrar (Union Registrars)
    and they said that the dividends are now closed and cannot be paid anymore!
    Is this right?

  5. I have a bunch of expired dividend warrants from way back 1997-1999. That was just before I relocated to overseas. Now I tried to see if I can revalidate them and I am told by a Registrar that the warrants or dividends are closed and cannot be revalidated. Is that right?

  6. if a shares is divided between two brothers before the dividend is shared in that particular year,will the dividend be shared in a divided form that same year or will start running separately from the next year.

  7. My father is late,and for a number of years before and after his death ,dividend from his share must have accumulated, how will I have both the dividend and share transfer to me

  8. Pls I bought some bagco shares since 2007 and I have been getting dividend in cheques but I never collected/validated them. 1)How do I revalidate them
    2)if I want to add to the units of shares, how do I go about it.

  9. Good day sir,i have not received dividends from First bank plc since 2009 pls how do i go about the process of validating and claiming them.Thanks

  10. I have registered all my shares brought through my broker for e-Dividend and onward do I have to register for e-Dividend every time I buy new shares through my broker that are not yet registered for e-Dividend?

  11. A very wonderful evening please my names are Igiri Kalu I need your advice l have been away for years and am back only to hear of shares been paid to shareholders and I have the last payment recipet made through first bank PLC and I now heard that they e-divided which I am yet fill please advice me

  12. Good morning. Pls enlighten me on this- I bought a union bank share since 2005and I’ve not heard anything from them till now. How do I go about getting my dividends accrued???


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