CREST Depositary Interest



CREST is a UK-based
central securities depository A central securities depository (CSD) is a specialized financial organization holding securities like shares, either in certificated or uncertificated ( dematerialized) form, allowing ownership to be easily transferred through a book entry rather th ...
that holds UK
equities In finance, stock (also capital stock) consists of all the shares by which ownership of a corporation or company is divided.Longman Business English Dictionary: "stock - ''especially AmE'' one of the shares into which ownership of a company ...
and UK
gilts Gilt-edged securities are bonds issued by the UK Government. The term is of British origin, and then referred to the debt securities issued by the Bank of England on behalf of His Majesty's Treasury, whose paper certificates had a gilt (or gil ...
, as well as Irish equities and other international
securities A security is a tradable financial asset. The term commonly refers to any form of financial instrument, but its legal definition varies by jurisdiction. In some countries and languages people commonly use the term "security" to refer to any for ...
. It was named after its securities settlement system, CREST, and has been owned and operated by
Euroclear Euroclear is a Belgium-based financial services company that specializes in the settlement of securities transactions, as well as the safekeeping and asset servicing of these securities. It was founded in 1968 as part of J.P. Morgan & Co. to settl ...
since 2002. The name CREST stands for Certificateless Registry for Electronic Share Transfer. CREST allows shareholders and bondholders to hold assets in a dematerialised, i.e. electronic form, rather than holding physical share certificates. CREST also serves a number of other important functions, such as assisting in the payments of dividends to shareholders. It is also an "electronic trade confirmation system" ("ETC") (using Trax). When parties to a transaction make a deal, they both electronically confirm their sides of the transaction via electronic transfer. Both parties are required to submit confirmation details to Crest. In the event that transaction details do not match, CREST will highlight the issues and ensure that the problems are resolved as soon as is practicable. Stamp duty in the United Kingdom is only payable on physical share certificates therefore no stamp duty is payable on shares settled via CREST, however to compensate for this the UK government added a Stamp Duty Reserve Tax which is collected by CREST on behalf of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.


The project was launched in 1993, following the TAURUS fiasco, and the operating company CrestCo was founded in 1996. CREST was acquired by
Euroclear Euroclear is a Belgium-based financial services company that specializes in the settlement of securities transactions, as well as the safekeeping and asset servicing of these securities. It was founded in 1968 as part of J.P. Morgan & Co. to settl ...
in August 2002.


There are two classes of members on CREST: members and sponsored members. Members are usually pension funds, inter-dealer brokers or other large
financial institution Financial institutions, sometimes called banking institutions, are business entities that provide services as intermediaries for different types of financial monetary transactions. Broadly speaking, there are three major types of financial inst ...
s with significant resources. Sponsored members have the same rights and responsibilities as members. However, given that they do not have the financial or technical resources of the full members, they rely on their sponsoring member to interface with CREST.

Registrars and CREST Depository Interest (CDI)

UK stocks are held by registrars who are members of CREST and are therefore integrated into the transfer of ownership. Irish equities and ETF securities are also settled directly through CREST members.Irish Stock Exchange
Settlement of ISE trades For international stocks, CREST holds a pool of them in a local depository, such as Clearstream for German stocks and
CDS The compact disc (CD) is a digital optical disc data storage format that was co-developed by Philips and Sony to store and play digital audio recordings. In August 1982, the first compact disc was manufactured. It was then released in Octobe ...
for Canadian stocks. CREST then issues a CDI to each holder of the security, which can then be transferred in CREST just like a UK equity. This is similar to the
depositary receipt A depositary receipt (DR) is a negotiable financial instrument issued by a bank to represent a foreign company's publicly traded securities. The depositary receipt trades on a local stock exchange. Depositary receipts facilitates buying shares in f ...
s issued in other countries. However, restrictions apply to CDIs. They are not withdrawable or depositable into/out of CREST. This is because a CDI is an electronic reflection of the underlying security held in the domestic (country of origin) market. The security provided by CDI are "international securities" in deed poll which includes security through equity shares, Eurobonds, domestic bonds and depository receipts. International securities must be eligible to be held within or through a CSD, which includes Euroclear, DTC, SIS SegaIntersettle (the Swiss clearing system) and any other national or international central securities depositories from time to time specified in the CREST International Manual.CDIMemo.pdf The economic rights are not affected by the use of the CDIs.

How does it work?

To take the US as an example, the electronic settlement system in the US is called DTC and if a shareholder holds electronic stock in the US they will hold their securities electronically in DTC. In reality, they will hold the securities via a custodian, so the custodian's nominee details will appear on the company's register. This is known as holding stock in the 'domestic' market. Securities held this way can only be traded domestically i.e. in the market of the country of origin. If the shares are listed in more than one market (for example in the US and in the UK) a shareholder who wants to trade their securities within CREST outside of the US 'domestic' market can instruct their custodian (in this example the DTC) to transfer the securities to the CREST account within DTC. Restrictions apply, only securities that have a UK quote can be transferred to CREST's DTC account. CREST is a member of DTC. Once the securities have been transferred from the shareholder's account within the DTC and into CREST's account CREST will 'create' the CDI within the CREST and the CDI will appear in the shareholder's account within CREST where the CDI can now be traded in the UK market. The CDI which is traded within CREST will typically have the same ISIN as the UK share itself. The legal holder to the share will continue to be the nominee for the DTC.

Stamp Duty Reserve Tax

HMRC consider that a CDI is a chargeable security for the Stamp Duty Reserve Tax. However, where the underlying security is loan capital and that loan capital satisfies the loan capital exemption the trade of the CDI should be exempt from SDRT. Other treatments to the Eurobonds are included in the bulletin published by Euroclear.


* Uncertificated Securities Regulations 2001 (SI 2001/3755) * Central Securities Depositories Regulation (CSDR) Supplemented by CREST rules and conditions in the ''Crest Reference Manual'', June 2009

See also

London Stock Exchange London Stock Exchange (LSE) is a stock exchange in the City of London, England, United Kingdom. , the total market value of all companies trading on LSE was £3.9 trillion. Its current premises are situated in Paternoster Square close to St P ...


Further reading

* ''CREST: its Recognition and Approval'', by Brian Smith, The Securities and Investments Board, 1996 *Madeleine Yates and Gerald Montagu ''The Law of Global Custody'' (4th edn.,2013) Bloomsbury Professional, Chapter 9

External links

CREST official site
{{DEFAULTSORT:Crest Central securities depositories Securities clearing and depository institutions Finance in the United Kingdom Economy of the Republic of Ireland Economy of the Isle of Man Organizations established in 1993 1993 establishments in the United Kingdom 1993 establishments in Ireland 1993 establishments in Guernsey 1993 establishments in the Isle of Man 1993 establishments in Jersey