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Problem with Equiniti’s online service for Shell shares


Daily Telegraph: Price difference  of £3,700 honoured in online share sale thwarted by IT failure

Last Updated: 11:50pm BST 02/05/2008



Many readers complain that the financial institutions that are keen to take their money are less willing to answer legitimate questions. Sometimes the power of the press, in the shape of Jessica Gorst-Williams, can help

I held 1,008 Royal Dutch Shell B shares in the appropriate nominee service at Equiniti registrars. With the sudden upsurge of the Royal Dutch Shell B share price I decided to sell the shares in late December. However, I was unable to carry out the procedure online as an error message prevented me from completing the sale.

I presumed this might just be a temporary hitch and, although disappointed, thought little of it. However, when the same error message prevented me from dealing on the following day, I decided to phone to clarify what was wrong.

I was told there was an IT problem at the registrar’s end. This would be investigated as soon as possible and I would be telephoned once it was okay to trade. I assumed this would be the following day.

During the remainder of Christmas and New Year I logged in to sell my shares and phoned every day. All to no avail. I asked that a formal complaint be made and gave my details. At 4pm on January 3 I tried, once again in vain, to sell my shares online.

The share price at the time was £21.43. Unfortunately I came across the same error message preventing me from making the sale. I telephoned to be informed once again that, although the shares were in my account, an IT problem was preventing the sale.

MK, Newport.

You complained and were told you would hear something within 10 working days. After that, when you inquired because you hadn’t heard back, you were informed the IT problem had not been investigated and you would be contacted when it had been.

You asked if other people using Royal Dutch Shell B’s nominee account were experiencing the same problems. Shareview Dealing, Equiniti’s online service, said it was not aware of anyone else.

When you first wrote to me the share price had fallen to £18.83. Soon after that you were offered £25 for inconvenience. You were understandably insulted by this offer. By the time I became involved the price was down to £17.99.

The registrar then acknowledged that its level of service was not up to the high standard you had the right to expect. When you first telephoned, the shares had been priced at £20.92. It seems a reasonable presumption that, had you been able to, you would have sold them then.

Therefore, Shareview Dealing has now paid the difference between the price prevailing then and the £17.28 per share you received when the sale, at last, went through. This £3.64 difference multiplied by the number of shares sold comes to £3,669.12. and its also non-profit sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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