In-specie transfer 👨‍🔬

Hello everyone,

We’re launching beta testing of in-specie transfer for ISA accounts. We’ll start with transfers towards us.

Is anyone interested :thinking:? If so, send me a DM.

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Great news that you’re rolling this out however does FCA regulation not state that this should have been available since July 2020?

Why no outbound transfers for Invest or ISA accounts?

Very interested in full in specie transfers being rolled out. This is an important step for increasing efficiency and competition in the market.

EDIT:

From FCA COBS 6.1H.3:

Where a client contacts a platform service provider in connection with a potential transfer of their investment which is, or includes, units, the platform service provider must provide the client with:

(1) the option of an in-specie transfer of units in an available scheme, provided there are no circumstances outside the control of either the ceding or the receiving platform which would prevent such transfer.

COBS 6.1H applies to platform service providers which Trading 212 falls under. I have confirmed this with the FCA.

From COBS 6.1H:

This section applies to a platform service provider in relation to the transfer, or potential transfer, of a retail client’s units.

SOURCE: COBS 6.1H Platform switching - FCA Handbook

EDIT 2:
The criteria highlighted by Dougal1984 are satisfied as can be seen on Trading 212’s firm page on the FCA website: NewRegister

EDIT 3:
Let’s take item (a) from the platform service provider definition:

(a) involves arranging and safeguarding and administering investments

From Trading 212 registered firm page:

and item (b):
distributes retail investment products which are offered to retail clients by more than one product provider;

FCA defines retail investment products as:

        (a) a life policy; or
        (b) a unit; or
        (c) a stakeholder pension scheme (including a group stakeholder pension scheme); or
        (d) a personal pension scheme (including a group personal pension scheme); or
        (e) an interest in an investment trust savings scheme; or
        (f) a security in an investment trust; or
        (g) any other designated investment which offers exposure to underlying financial assets, in a packaged form which modifies that exposure when compared with a direct holding in the financial asset; or
        (h) a structured capital-at-risk product;

whether or not any of (a) to (h) are held within an ISA or a CTF.

From Trading 212 registered firm page:

So it is clear to me that Trading 212 is indeed bound by COBS 6.1H and should enable inbound and outbound in specie transfers for both Invest and ISA accounts without delay.

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If I were a broker, I would implement inbound transfers first and outbound second.
Both must be coming for all neobrokers, a guess the FCA would make it a requirement. It is not a requirement per regulation yet, otherwise, no neobroker would be FCA licensed.

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If my memory serves, this was in relation to fund platforms.

The roll out of in specie transfers is much welcomed. Hope the testing goes well, and that a two way in / out transfers are soon an option for all. Hopefully it’s not a too costly/cumbersome process given the lack of common standards in this regard.

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Hi Vic,

Just a quick correction. In specie transfers are indeed protected by FCA regulation.

From FCA COBS 6.1H.3:

Where a client contacts a platform service provider in connection with a potential transfer of their investment which is, or includes, units, the platform service provider must provide the client with:

(1) the option of an in-specie transfer of units in an available scheme, provided there are no circumstances outside the control of either the ceding or the receiving platform which would prevent such transfer.

SOURCE: COBS 6.1H Platform switching - FCA Handbook

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Hi Dougal,

COBS 6.1H applies to platform service providers which Trading 212 falls under. I have confirmed this with the FCA.

From COBS 6.1H:

This section applies to a platform service provider in relation to the transfer, or potential transfer, of a retail client’s units.

SOURCE: COBS 6.1H Platform switching - FCA Handbook

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Hi :wave:

This is a common misunderstanding of the FCA terminology.

When they talk about a platform service provider, they are specifically talking about platforms where you can hold retail funds such as the Vanguard Lifestrategy 100%. Think Mutual Funds, OEICs, VCCs.

Trading212 is not(yet?) a fund platform service provider. Think of the likes of Fidelity, Hargreaves, Interactive Investor or AJ Bell. They all offer mutual funds, and in specie transfers of these securities.

Edit: not sure if this will read well but this is the definition:

https://www.handbook.fca.org.uk/handbook/glossary/G2893.html

Hope this helps explain.

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Thanks for the reply. Can you explain which part of that wording excludes Trading 212 from being classified as a platform service provider?

As fas as I understand it, Trading 212 satisfies this criteria.

EDIT: Have to add some text as post too similar to reply I put in the wrong place.

EDIT 2: The highlighted criteria are satisfied as can be seen on Trading 212’s firm page on the FCA website: NewRegister

EDIT 3: Let’s take item (a) from the platform service provider definition:

(a) involves arranging and safeguarding and administering investments

From Trading 212 registered firm page:

and item (b):
distributes retail investment products which are offered to retail clients by more than one product provider;

FCA defines retail investment products as:

        (a) a life policy; or
        (b) a unit; or
        (c) a stakeholder pension scheme (including a group stakeholder pension scheme); or
        (d) a personal pension scheme (including a group personal pension scheme); or
        (e) an interest in an investment trust savings scheme; or
        (f) a security in an investment trust; or
        (g) any other designated investment which offers exposure to underlying financial assets, in a packaged form which modifies that exposure when compared with a direct holding in the financial asset; or
        (h) a structured capital-at-risk product;

whether or not any of (a) to (h) are held within an ISA or a CTF.

From Trading 212 registered firm page:

So it is clear to me that Trading 212 is indeed bound by COBS 6.1H and should enable inbound and outbound in specie transfers for both Invest and ISA accounts without delay.

what do you think a beta test of a new feature is for exactly? instead of repeating yourself to no end, have some patience. oh and ‘welcome to the community’…

Hi Dao,

I’d say thanks for welcoming me to the community but somehow ‘I don’t feel like it’s genuine’.

I’m aware of what a beta test is for; stress testing and bug fixing. However, Trading 212 and all market participants were given ample time to give feedback and make the necessary changes to allow for in specie transfers back in 2019.
212 users, including myself have been more than patient waiting for this overdue feature.

I’m always learning and happy to accept if I am mistaken however so far the evidence would suggest that this feature should have been available almost two years ago.

I have been in communication with Trading 212 staff who have been very polite and helpful. I enjoy learning about financial instruments and understanding my rights as a retail trader. So, sorry if you feel put out by my demanding a FCA regulated firm is… regulated by the FCA but I didn’t write the rules. Perhaps you should take it up with the FCA? Or perhaps entertain an adult conversation without taking such offense.

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just quoting the message above your first post. we try to welcome people when we spot it. sorry if that rubbed you the wrong way and you felt a need to defend yourself :man_shrugging: shame it was on a thread with complaints.

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Once again, the regulation is directed against fund platform houses. Those that offer retail products such as mutual funds, otherwise known as OEICs, VCCs, also some Alternate Investment Trusts and other generally unlisted vehicles that offer packaged retail/institutional units. 212 offer none of these as a broker of listed securities. Click on the definition of units in the first sentence of your COBS statement.

We do agree, the regulations are written by those in the industry and clear as mud at times to understand, and it’s a very helpful feature that should become mandatory for all brokers and platforms. It helps competition by allowing users to switch service providers, without being out of market.

Some Q/A that would be good to confirm:

  1. Securities will be setup on 212 as required when possible to allow transfer? (Yes)
  2. Securities 212 cannot support will be left behind ( :smiling_face_with_tear: )
  3. Will you maintain the bookcost record - to assist with CGT purposes for later (not yet sure if possible :man_shrugging:)
  4. What do we envisage the transfer window to be (it might be handy to set expectations to list average/worst transfer times with other brokers in your help page once up and running to set expectations).

Thanks!

@Dao , Unless you’re being deliberately obtuse, the tone of your reply was obviously intended to be demeaning.

“instead of repeating yourself to no end, have some patience.”

This is clearly emotive language and is not relevant to the conversation. I want to discuss regulations surrounding in specie transfers. By all means, add to the conversation or address previous points, otherwise feel free to “be patient” somewhere else.
Do you think Trading 212 would be patient if they deemed that I was acting outside of their policy or would they act swiftly?
Also, I was responding to two different people who were making comments about the same matter, so hardly “without end”.

Back to the matter at hand:

Units.
We can csee that Trading 212 does deal in units as evidenced by the screenshots above.

@Dougal1984 , I did read over that definition and I’ve been trawling the relevant acts.

Here’s the full definition of a unit:

  1. (1) (in relation to a collective investment scheme) the investment, specified in article 81 of the Regulated Activities Order (Units in a collective investment scheme) and defined in section 237(2) of the Act (Other definitions)), which is the right or interest (however described) of the participants in a collective investment scheme; this includes:

  2. (a) (in relation to an AUT) a unit representing the rights or interests of the Unitholders in the AUT;

  3. (aa) (in relation to an ACS) a unit representing the rights or interests of the Unitholders in the ACS; and

  4. (b) (in relation to an ICVC) a share in the ICVC.; and

  5. (2) (in relation to an alternative investment fund) the right or interest (however described) of an investor in an alternative investment fund.

So, does Trading 212’s share dealing activities fall under any of these definitions?

First of all, what is a collective investment scheme?

a collective investment scheme, as defined in section 235 of the Act (Collective Investment Schemes), which is in summary:

    (a) any arrangements with respect to property of any description, including money, the purpose or effect of which is to enable persons taking part in the arrangements (whether by becoming owners of the property or any part of it or otherwise) to participate in or receive profits or income arising from the acquisition, holding, management or disposal of the property or sums paid out of such profits or income; and
    (b) which are not excluded by the Financial Services and Markets Act (Collective Investment Schemes) Order 2001 (SI 2001/1062).

That sounds to me like it could apply to trading.

More so when you consider that Trading 212 does pool the shares you buy in an omnibus account that is not in your name. Does this designate your shares as units within a collective investment scheme? I’m not sure but it’s certainly not clear to me that it doesn’t either.

Here’s some relevant items from Trading 212’s terms:

13.4. You hereby authorise us to hold your Investments in safe custody (or appoint a custodian to do so), to transfer securities from your account to meet sales effected for your account, to accept offers, or undertake other matters in relation to your Investments covered by this Agreement.

13.5. Detailed records of all your Investments and assets held by us will be kept at all times to show that your Investments are held on your behalf, for your benefit and do not belong to us or any sub-custodian.

13.6. Investments purchased by us on your behalf or transferred to us will be registered in the name of a nominee company or our name or a sub-custodian. We will be responsible and liable for our nominee to the same extent as for our own acts, including losses arising from fraud, wilful default or negligence.

13.7. Whenever your Investments are registered in the name of a Nominee company nominated by us, that Nominee will hold them in trust for you. This means that you are the beneficial owner of the Investments. Any Investments held by a Nominee will be held in an omnibus account.

13.8. Your Investments will be registered in the same name as those of other clients (pooled together with other clients’ Investments in an omnibus co-mingled custody account, like with like). This means that Investments may not be immediately identifiable by way of separate certificates. If our third-party nominee or we were to become insolvent, there may be delays in identifying individual assets and possibly an increased risk of loss if there should be a shortfall because additional time may be needed to identify the assets held for specific clients. In addition, in the event of an unreconciled shortfall caused by the default of a custodian, you may share proportionately in that shortfall.

In summary:
Trading 212 is a platform service provider since it deals in units as evidenced on its registered firm page on the FCA website.

Units can take the form of any type of property including money.

Trading 212 pools retail clients’ shares in custodian accounts. Does this designate shares as units?

I find it difficult to believe that Trading 212 does not offer retail investment products to retail clients.

This doesn’t add anything to the conversation.

@Zergui Indeed. And I loathe to include it, however it’s not my topic of choice and I was merely responding to another user. Thanks for stopping by though :slight_smile:

You’ll notice that the vast majority of the comment, which you decided to exclude, was in fact relevant.

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Again, not adding anything to the conversation. And the whole comment this time. Hey, your rule, not mine! :saluting_face:

Get off your horse, and acknowledge that when someone welcomes you, he doesn’t have to be conspiring against you just because he may not share your opinion.

Team brings in feature, requested by many for a long time, and a rather complex and security-sensitive one; feature undergoes limited testing, and once more the only community reaction is bitching about how they are being ripped off.

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Wow. So much hostility. I’m here to talk business not take part in petty squabbles. I made my appreciation and interest clear in my initial comment. Please stay on topic and stop creating fluff. I’ll say no more on the matter.

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Pooling shares in an omnibus account is totally different to a collective investment scheme. The purpose of a retail CIS is you buy a product designed for people like you or me, and share the same returns/costs and so forth. The legislation allows for us to move the unlisted units from one platform to another.

It would be interesting to see what feedback you had from the FCA to confirm their legislation applies to brokers and platforms.

Apologies if blunt, trying to be helpful but have also had some :beers:

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To date Trading212 has not dealt in Units. as evidenced by many stock addition requests being denied because the units were not yet split from common stock. There is a large difference between what a firm page lists to what it has historically provided. Trading212 has many provisions listed for ease of future implementation, not because it is currently available.

That quoted sentence is to be taken at face value, your very lengthy responses aren’t going anywhere and don’t belong here in the first place.

Here is something you can’t claim is irrelevant: this is a community forum, Trading212 is not required to respond to your statements just because they were made here.
Also a very relevant point: this is an announcement thread, not for enquiry and even the topic of the OP has nothing to do with your discussion about regulations.

lets keep the discussion relevant please :joy: if you would like to participate in the beta, send Tony a DM. if you have a pressing need to get an answer regarding regulations, open a support ticket.

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Thank you for the informative comment and don’t worry about being blunt, that’s what I’m into; cold, hard, blunt facts!

It may well be that I’ve got the wrong end of the stick here but when I asked the FCA about whether or not brokers were obliged to allow in specie transfers specifically relating to Trading 212 Invest and ISA accounts, they quoted COBS 6.1H.3 which of course led me to believe the regulation applied.

I will follow this up with the FCA. I’m also waiting to hear back from 212 regarding legal structure and the precise relevance of the regulation in question.

Cheers!

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