The draft Bearer Certificates (Collective Investment Schemes) Regulations 2020 (the "Regulations") provide that no bearer units in a collective investment scheme may be issued, converted or cancelled after 1 January 2021. The Regulations have been introduced to comply with international standards on anti-money laundering and tax transparency by closing a loop hole which has allowed OEICs incorporated before 26 June 2017 and unauthorised unit trusts to continue to issue bearer certificates. The effect of the draft Regulations will be that all shares or units issued by collective investment schemes must be in registered form, whether certificated or uncertificated and their ownership must be registered. 

The transitional provisions provide that the OEIC or operator of a unit trust must cancel any outstanding bearer certificates still held on 1 January 2022 with effect from that day and pay the value into a bank account.

For further information, a copy of the draft Regulations can be found here, and the explanatory memorandum relating to such Regulations, here.