They’re expensive to administer and easy to lose, but paper securities certificates are still a requirement in some jurisdictions. However, electronic stockholding may at last be about to take hold, writes Janet Wynn.
Business, like fashion, is often subject to abrupt changes in style. Occasionally, however, a more fundamental change or a new technology works its way gradually through an industry until it eventually displaces the conventional approach entirely. One example of that is the way paper stock certificates are now ‘fossils’ in much of the world. Markets in countries across the globe consider paper certificates too expensive to store and process, too easy to forge and all too easy to steal. So they’re getting rid of them and generating big savings in the process.
China, for example, no longer bothers with paper stock certificates.
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