Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) has launched an online share exchange service aimed at simplifying the process of selling and transferring shares.
As such, HL clients will be able to sell shares held in their general investment account, move the cash into a stocks and shares Isa or Sipp, and buy back the same shares with a single online instruction.
Previously, this process was carried out manually.
HL noted a quicker turnaround for processing instructions and no charges for selling shares in a general investment account among the benefits on offer.
The service is available for most UK and overseas-listed shares, ETFs and investment trusts.
Tom Lee, head of trading proposition, said: “We are pleased to announce another way our service puts more power in the hands of retail investors. Given the cut to the capital gains tax (CGT) and dividend allowances coming in April this year, the benefits of share exchange to shelter your investments from tax are even stronger.
“HL’s new online service makes this quick and easy and is available on over 11,000 listed securities. For many transactions it’s cheaper, with no bid/offer spread, and for overseas shares there’s no foreign exchange charge.
“Shares held outside an Isa or Sipp are subject to UK income tax and capital gains tax, but when shares are held within a stocks and shares Isa or a Sipp, you do not pay either of those. You also do not need to declare income or gains from investments held within a stocks and shares Isa or Sipp on your tax return.
“Married couples can also transfer shares between each other without triggering capital gains tax. Between them they can generate gains of £24,600 using this tax year’s allowance CGT free.”
Cliff Weight, director of individual investors group Sharesoc, said: “This is a compelling offer, particularly when you realise the account fee for holding shares in their Isa is capped at £45. This is another positive step from Hargreaves, coming on top of their recent voting announcement, which added another 1.75 million investors to the existing ranks of this who can vote their shares online. Both are positive changes for shareholder rights.”