Broker vs Issuer Sponsored Shares

All shares have a principal ownership which must be recorded electronically by the company’s share registry on a principal register. This refers to the shares being registered under two different subregisters, either by the share registry (Issuer sponsored) or the CHESS subregister (Broker sponsored).

Broker vs Issuer Illustration

What is CHESS/Broker Sponsorship?

CHESS stands for Clearing House Electronic Subregister System which is the computer system used by the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) to record shareholdings and manage the settlement of share transactions. If your holdings are CHESS sponsored, it means your shares are held and managed with a broker. CHESS sponsored shares are issued a Holder Identification Number (HIN) which starts with the letter ‘X’. For more information, please refer to our education article ‘Holder Identification Numbers’.

Westpac Share Trading is broker sponsored so we will automatically apply CHESS sponsorship to all new trading accounts, following your consent to our Terms and Conditions.

Benefits of broker sponsored shares:

  • Efficiently manage your share portfolio registered under a single HIN online;
  • Reduced paperwork;
  • Direct ownership and access to shares;
  • Ease of Maintenance i.e., Change of personal details and Tax File Number (TFN) can be easily updated by your broker.

What is Issuer Sponsorship?

Issuer sponsored shares are shares recorded by the company’s share registry on their issuer sponsored subregister. These shares are issued with a Shareholder Reference Number (SRN) that will usually start with the letter ‘I’.

Issuer sponsored shares are issued with unique SRNs for each separate shareholding.

You can locate an SRN on the issuer sponsored holding statement or by directly contacting the share registry. You can find relevant share registry information when searching for a security on our website under Quotes & Research > Company > Dividends > Share Registry Details.

Alternatively, you can refer to our education article ‘What is a Share Registry?’ for more information.

Share registries can help you retrieve any information regarding your issuer sponsored shares i.e., contact, and personal details, tradable and non-tradeable units, and SRN numbers.

Examples when holdings may be Issuer sponsored:

  • Employee Scheme Shares – shares issued to you by your employer;
  • Shares acquired through an off-market share transfer;
  • Shares issued in a float or IPO.

How do I identify if my shares are Broker or Issuer Sponsored?

Look for the following numbers on shareholding statements to identify sponsorship:

  • HIN starting with ‘X’ indicates CHESS/Broker sponsorship.
  • SRN starting with ‘I’ indicates Issuer sponsorship.

Where can I view my CHESS holdings with Westpac Share Trading?

All shares purchased via Westpac Share Trading are CHESS sponsored. To view your holdings, go to My Account > My Portfolio > Holdings & Account and click on the Holdings tab.

You also have the ability to ‘Add Issuer Holdings’. This feature allows you to manually add your issuer sponsored shares to see a more complete overview of your investment portfolio.

Holdings Tab Screenshot

Alternatively, you can transfer your issuer holdings into your Westpac Share Trading account.

For more information, please refer to our education article on Issuer to CHESS transfers or call us on 13 13 31.

Light Bulb Pictogram

Did you know?

You can sell your issuer sponsored shares without transferring them to your Westpac Share Trading account. This is referred to as an “SRN Sale”.

This information is intended to provide information for educational purposes only and is subject to change at anytime without notice.