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What is a Shareholder Number and a FIN?

Wednesday 23rd January 2002

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Q: What is a Shareholder Number and a FIN and why do I need them?

A: When you purchase shares you will be allocated a Shareholder Number and a FIN (Faster Identification Number). Share certificates are no longer valid, so these two numbers are proof of ownership and should be kept safe. There are several different registries in NZ and your Shareholder Number and FIN will be different with each registry, just as your bank account numbers differ if you hold accounts with more than one bank.

If you own several different shares that are all with the same registry you should ensure that they all have the same Shareholder Number and FIN. This makes them easier to keep track of and saves hassle when you go to sell them.

To make sure you always have your purchases registered to the Shareholder Number you want, it is a good idea to give the number to your broker when you sign up as a client. This ensures that all your share purchases will be registered to a single Shareholder Number and you won't have new numbers allocated unless the shares are held with a different registry. The broker can't use the holder number while you have the FIN, so your shares are completely safe.

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