Lost Securityholders

Background

It is considered to be good practice for the registry or company to make reasonable efforts to locate the correct address of a securityholder when mail is returned unclaimed.

Recommended procedures are as follows :

  • Upon the initial return of an undeliverable item, immediately mail the item to the same address with the envelope marked with a " 2 " to indicate it is the second mailing (Many returned mail items are cleared in this way ).
  • If the item is returned (as identified from the No. 2 on the envelope) then the relevant returned mail indicator or lost contact flag, available on most registry computer systems, should be recorded against the holding.
  • It is essential that the last known address of the securityholder be retained in the registry records at all times. It is not good practice to amend the address to C/- the company.
  • If access is available, endeavour to trace the securityholders new address from the telephone directory. Access to Electronic White Pages would assist this task.
  • Forward a letter addressed to the householder at the last known address enquiring the whereabouts of the securityholder.
  • Contact the bank which negotiated the last dividend cheque or if dividends are credited direct to a bank account, contact that bank.
  • If a recent purchase, contact the broker who initiated the transaction.
  • Search the electoral rolls.

Where the company believes the whereabouts of the holder is unknown the company is permitted to refrain from forwarding the Annual Report. For security reasons it would also be prudent to refrain from forwarding dividend cheques or holding statements.

The Corporations Act/ASX listing rules require that a Notice of Meeting and Proxy Form must be despatched to all ordinary securityholders. An ASIC Class Order also requires an issuer to send a notice to an "uncontactable member" at least once each year for a period of not less than 6 years stating that the despatch of the Annual Report has been suspended.

It is recommended that for other types of securities which do not require a notice of meeting a letter be forwarded to the last known address at least once per year.

Disposal of Securities When the Whereabouts of Holder is Unknown

The Corporations Act provides that where a securityholder has been "lost" for a period of at least six years and the registry or company has for that period with reasonable diligence sought to communicate with the securityholder and has been unable to do so, it may complete a transfer of the securities on behalf of the securityholder in favour of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. For specific requirements refer to Section 1343 of the Corporations Act.

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