BT does not endorse any service for the buying or selling of shares. Stockbroking services are available through brokers and banks. Only registered brokers and banks can deal in the market - everyone else has to deal through them. This way, there is a controlled and regulated market.

Traditional share dealing and share certificates

Traditionally, shares have been held in paper form - a share certificate, evidencing ownership of the shares. To sell your shares, you will normally need to deliver the original share certificate to your broker. You will receive payment (net of broker's commission) within a few days from the broker selling your shares.

When buying shares, you will need to pay the broker within a few days of the transaction, and will receive a share certificate in due course. Until you receive this certificate, you will not be able to sell the shares.

Telephone dealing services may also use traditional certificates following a purchase - but may not require them in order to sell (as they use high-security identification practices).

Online share dealing and electronic share records

Shares can be held in a nominee account. You do not receive a share certificate, but you remain the beneficial owner of the shares, and you receive dividends.

The nominee can usually provide you with copies of the company's annual reports, (you can also download them online), and you should be able to instruct the nominee to vote at the AGM in accordance with your instructions.

Transactions for shares in nominee accounts are completed electronically through a system linking banks, stockbrokers and registrars (CREST)

BT has a corporate sponsored nominee service called EasyShare.

All shares in Personal Equity Plans and ISAs are held in nominee accounts.

Share dealing costs and services

When buying or selling shares, you will usually pay a broker's commission each time you buy or sell. There may be also be on-going costs (other than commission) for each transaction, or annual fees.

Additional stockbroking services may be available for additional fees - including investment advice and communication. Broadly, there are three levels, or types of stockbroker service:

  1. execution only - you make all the investment decisions, tell your broker what to do, and communicate with your broker by post, telephone or online.    
  2. advisory dealing - a stockbroker listens to your ideas and offers advice or recommendations.
  3. discretionary broking - you hand over control of your investments to an investment manager, who will act on your behalf, without consultation.

When you buy shares, you are liable to pay stamp duty (in the UK currently 0.5 per cent of the share price) but not when you sell.

How you choose to hold your shares may also influence costs - there may be an additional charge if you want to hold a traditional paper certificate.

mm02 Demerger November 2001 - relative share values

The confirmed official opening prices for BT Group and mmO2 shares for Capital Gains Tax ('CGT') purposes, were 285.75 pence and 82.75 pence respectively. This means that, of the total value of 368.50 pence, 77.54% is attributable to BT Group and 22.46% to mmO2.

Accordingly, for CGT calculations, the base cost of your BT Group shares is calculated by multiplying the acquisition cost of your BT shareholding by 77.54%, and the base cost of your mmO2 shares is calculated by multiplying the acquisition cost of your BT shareholding by 22.46%.