Managing your shares - frequently asked questions

Ordinary shareholders

How can I buy or sell shares?

As an ordinary shareholder, you can use any bank, building society or stockbroker offering a share dealing facility for UK listed shares in order to buy or sell Aviva shares. The commission charged by different organisations will vary.

For further information on the share dealing facility provided by our Registrar, Computershare, please visit the share dealing page.  If you hold your shares in the Aviva Share Account, you are required to use the Aviva Share Account Share Dealing Facility in accordance with the Aviva Share Account terms and conditions (PDF) .

What is Capital Gains Tax?

Capital Gains Tax is the tax paid on any profit or gain made by selling a chargeable asset (e.g. shares) for more than it was bought.  Aviva plc is unable to advise individuals on matters of Capital Gains Tax.  Please consult an independent financial adviser.

What is a registrar?

A Registrar is a person or organisation that keeps a record of a company’s shareholders and other related information such as dividend payment dates.

Registrars are increasingly offering online services to meet the demands of companies and shareholders for efficient communication. Aviva's Registrar is Computershare.

How do I change my personal details on my shareholding?

Change of address

You can change your address online by visiting the Computershare Investor Centre and registering for online services.

Alternatively, contact Aviva’s Registrar, Computershare .

Change of name

For your name to be changed on the share register please send Computershare an original of your marriage certificate or your change of name deed (these documents will be returned to you once processed).

If you hold an insurance policy with Aviva, please contact us separately to change your policy name/address.

If you need to write to Computershare, please quote your Computershare Shareholder Reference Number which begins with a C, I or G and can be found on most Computershare correspondence.

How can I confirm the number of shares that I hold?

You can view your Aviva shareholdings online by visiting the Computershare Investor Centre and registering for online shareholder services.  Alternatively, please contact our Registrar, Computershare, to request confirmation of your holdings in Aviva.

How can I transfer ownership of my shares to someone else?

For certificated holdings please contact our Registrar, Computershare to obtain a personalised stock transfer form, which you will need to complete and return with your share certificate.

How do I register the death of a shareholder?

If the shareholding was held jointly, on receipt of a copy of the death certificate, Computershare will remove the name of the deceased from the shareholding. The shares will then be registered in the name(s) of the surviving holder(s) and the relevant share certificates will be amended to reflect this.  If the shares were held solely in the name of the deceased, Computershare will require a copy of the death certificate and either probate or letters of administration. The name of the legal personal representative will then be added to the register. The shares can be sold by the personal representative, or a stock transfer form can be submitted so that the shares are registered in the name of the deceased’s beneficiary.

If the value of the estate in the deceased’s sole name is below certain limits the death can be registered using the Registrar’s small estates procedure. Details of the current limits and the procedure involved can be obtained from our Registrar, Computershare .

For further information or advice please contact our Registrar, Computershare .

What do I do if I lose my share certificate?

You may obtain a replacement share certificate by calling our Registrar, Computershare .

A fee to cover administration costs and an indemnity charge will be made for this service. Please visit www.investorcentre.co.uk/faq  for up to date details of the fees charged by Computershare . After receiving a replacement share certificate, you may wish to transfer your shares into the Aviva Share Account (see Aviva Share Account section below).

If your shares are held on your behalf in the Aviva Share Account (see Aviva Share Account section below) and you have lost your Statement of Shareholding, a new statement will be issued automatically in March/April each year.

If you need a statement more quickly, you can obtain a replacement by calling our Registrar, Computershare. There will be a fee for this service. 

You can also view your current shareholding by visiting the Computershare Investor Centre and registering for online shareholder services.

Friends Life Group Limited, Resolution or Friends Provident

If you had a Friends Provident share certificate, please note that on 2 November 2009 Friends Provident was acquired by Resolution for 79.4 pence per share. On this date, all Friends Provident shares were either cashed out (i.e. shareholders received a cash sum paid by cheque in respect of their holdings) or converted into Resolution shares. If you opted to have your shares cashed out, you no longer hold any shares and there is no need for you to inform Computershare about your lost certificate.

If you had a Resolution Limited share certificate, please note that on 8 May 2014, Resolution Limited changed its name to Friends Life Group Limited.  Resolution share certificates were valid as Friends Life Group Limited share certificates following this change in the Company’s name. 

If you had a Friends Life Group Limited (or a Resolution Limited) share certificate, please note that on 10 April 2015, Friends Life Group Limited was acquired by Aviva plc.  This acquisition was effected by a scheme of arrangement in accordance with Guernsey company law and was approved by both the Guernsey court and by Friends Life and Aviva shareholders. Under the terms of the scheme, Friends Life shareholders were issued with 0.74 Aviva shares in replacement for each Friends Life share owned.  In April 2015, welcome packs were sent to all former Friends Life shareholders eligible to receive Aviva shares as part of the acquisition and new Aviva share certificates were included in the pack for those shareholders who hold their shares in certificated form. All Resolution Limited and Friends Life Group Limited share certificates are therefore no longer valid and if you have lost them, there is no need to inform Computershare. If you have any queries relating to this, please contact Computershare .

Commercial Union, CGU, CGNU, General Accident and Norwich Union Share certificates

As a result of various mergers, you may have in your possession various share certificates for our legacy companies.  The position with these is as follows:

  • Commercial Union – still valid
  • CGU – still valid
  • CGNU – still valid
  • General Accident – General Accident shares were replaced by CGU shares on acceptance of the merger offer. 
  • Norwich Union –share certificates were automatically replaced with CGNU share certificates at the time of the merger with CGU. 
  • Norwich Union share certificates can be destroyed.

What happened to my F&C Asset Management Plc shares?

In July 2009, Friends Provident demerged the majority stake it had owned in F&C Asset Management plc since 2004 by distributing the F&C shares to its own shareholders. All shareholders were written to on 26 May 2009 about the demerger of F&C. Shareholders subsequently approved the demerger on 12 June 2009 and, having then also been approved by the High Court, the demerger took effect on 3 July 2009. Following the demerger, F&C Asset Management plc shareholders were entitled to receive 1 share in F&C for every 10 shares they held in Friends Provident on 2 July 2009. The F&C shares were an addition to the Friends Provident shares already held, they did not replace them. To find out more about F&C visit www.fandc.com.

I’m a former Friends Provident shareholder, which share registrar should I contact?

All unclaimed Friends Provident shareholder funds are held directly by Computershare or Equiniti (the former registrar of Friends Provident). Please contact Computershare to request confirmation of your holding. Computershare will either assist you or direct you to Equiniti depending on where your funds are held. Either Computershare or Equiniti will be able to arrange the re-issue of any outstanding funds which may be due to you although there may be a charge for replacement cheques.

Aviva Share Account members

The Aviva Share Account is Aviva’s corporate nominee service in which shareholders can hold their shares. Currently around 250,000 shareholders hold their shares in this manner and benefit from increased privacy and the peace of mind of not having to look after a share certificate.

The Aviva Share Account acts as the holder of your Aviva shares and by joining the account your personal details will be entered on to a sub-register that is not available for public inspection.

View the terms and conditions of the Aviva Share Account

By holding your shares in the Aviva Share Account:

  • You remove the risk of losing a share certificate, and the cost and inconvenience of obtaining a replacement (the cost of obtaining a replacement share certificate depends on the size of your holding, for more information please visit www.investorcentre.co.uk/faq).
  • Your name will not be entered on to any public register, reducing the risk of ID fraud.
  • You will still receive the same dividends and have the same choices available.
  • You can request to receive copies of documents sent to shareholders.
  • You will still be able to vote and attend shareholder general meetings.
  • Settlement on the sale of shares held electronically is generally quicker, and in some cases cheaper than sales involving share certificates. 
  • It is free to transfer your shares into, and hold your shares in, the Aviva Share Account.

If you would like to open an account by transferring shares into the Aviva Share Account you will need to call our Registrar, Computershare to obtain a personalised application form.

There is no charge to have your shares put into the Aviva Share Account and you are able to withdraw them at any time and request a share certificate (please note however, that there is a charge for withdrawing your shares from the Aviva Share Account, further details can be found at www.investorcentre.co.uk/faq).

Please note that if you have any preferences on your shareholding such as having your dividends bank mandated, or having an election to receive hard copy shareholder documentation, these preferences will not transfer over to your Aviva Share Account. You will therefore need to resubmit new instructions to the registrar once your shares have been transferred.

As an Aviva Share Account member you will be able to use the Aviva Share Account Share Dealing Facility provided by our Registrar, Computershare by producing your Share Account Statement. For further information regarding this share dealing service please go to share dealing . If you wish to use any other share dealing service you will need to withdraw your shares from the Aviva Share Account and obtain a share certificate first.

If you have any queries regarding buying or selling shares in Aviva you should seek professional financial advice.

If you decide you would prefer to hold your shares in certificated form, or would like to sell your shares through a share dealing service other than the Aviva Share Account Share Dealing Facility , and would therefore like to withdraw your shares from the Aviva Share Account please contact our Registrar, Computershare for a transfer form.

There is a fee for transferring your shares from the Aviva Share Account, please visit www.investorcentre.co.uk/faq for more details.

Whilst holding your shares in the Aviva Share Account you can participate in the Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP). The plan provides the option for eligible shareholders to reinvest their cash dividend in additional ordinary shares in the Company. You can either join online or by completing a form that you can obtain from the Company's Registrar, Computershare. There is no entry fee and you can leave the Plan at any time at no charge. If you join you will pay commission, currently at 0.75% (subject to a minimum of £2.50), and stamp duty reserve tax, currently at 0.5%, on the market value of the Aviva ordinary shares purchased for you.

Completed Application forms should be sent to ‘Computershare Investor Services PLC, the Pavilions, Bridgwater Road, Bristol BS13 8AE

Please note, this service is not appropriate for shareholders living in certain jurisdictions, for example North America. Please see clause 1 of the terms and conditions for more information.

As a member of the Aviva Share Account you can register or log into the Computershare Investor Centre, the shareholder services website, to view your current holding and its indicative value.

Dividends

You will have the same rights as ordinary shareholders to receive any dividends paid by the Company. You can also arrange to have your dividends bank mandated or alternatively, you can participate in a scrip or drip dividend scheme, if offered by the Company. You will need to contact our Registrar, Computershare to arrange how you would like to receive your dividends and to request the relevant form.

Annual General Meetings

You will retain the right to attend and vote at the Company’s Annual General Meetings. You will be informed by the Company ahead of any future AGMs and provided with information on the business of the meeting, where it will be held and the date and time of the meeting. If you have elected to receive hard copy shareholder documentation you will be sent a hard copy notice of meeting to the address on your shareholding. If you have elected to receive electronic communications you will be sent an email directing you to the Aviva website where the notice can viewed or downloaded.

Shareholder documentation

You can elect to receive shareholder communications, such as the Annual Report and Accounts and notice of meeting, in either hard copy or electronically.  In order to do this you will need to change your mailing preference on your Computershare account, or you can write to Computershare informing them of what documentation you would like to receive in hard copy format. You can access your account and change your mailing preference online by visiting the Computershare Investor Centre.

Stamp Duty Reserve Tax is a UK tax that may be payable depending on the type of transfer. As a general rule, if money is not changing hands then the transaction is not liable for Stamp Duty. As there is no cost in transferring your shares into the Aviva Share Account you will not be liable to pay Stamp Duty Reserve Tax. If you are in any doubt about transferring your shares into the Aviva Share Account, please contact an Authorised Financial Advisor.

American depositary receipt holders

You can find an update-to-date quote of an Aviva ADS here.

Holders can buy and sell Aviva plc ADRs by maintaining either an International Direct Investment (IDI) plan or via the Direct Registration System (DRS) programme. For an IDI plan brochure and enrollment kit, please refer to http://www.citi.com/dr, under the “Investors” section and select “Investment Plans/Services”. You will find a pdf of Aviva’s IDI plan brochure. The IDI plan is a dividend reinvestment and direct purchase plan sponsored and administered by Citibank, NA. The plan enables first-time purchasers and existing holders to make purchases, reinvest dividends, deposit certificates for safekeeping and sell ADRs.

Aviva plc ordinary shareholders should contact their local broker to deposit their ordinary shares at Citibank London for ADR issuance.

Registered ADR holders can access their account online.


Alternatively Aviva plc registered ADR holders can contact Citibank Shareholder Services . Aviva plc ADR holders holding shares via a bank, a broker or nominee account (in book-entry format) should contact their brokers for information on their holding.

If you are a registered holder, please contact Citibank Shareholder Services.


You can also inform Citibank of your change of address by e-mailing them at citibank@shareholders-online.com. Alternatively, you can complete the form found on your latest account statement and return it to the address on the statement.

If your certificate is lost, stolen or destroyed please notify Citibank immediately so that a stop transfer can be placed on the certificate. Citibank will send you the necessary forms for a replacement certificate to be issued to you. There is a charge of approximately 3% of the market value of the shares (minimum fee of $20) for a replacement certificate. This is necessary in order to purchase the replacement indemnity bond.

You can obtain information on your account such as your balance or the status of a dividend cheque by calling Citibank Shareholder Services.

Computershare are Citibank’s transfer agent. Information on how to gift or transfer your ADSs can be found under the “Frequently Asked Questions” section of the Computershare website. The “Frequently Asked Questions” section is located under the “Transferring Stock” menu, where you will find the requirements to transfer your shares. You can also contact Citibank Shareholder Services.