The Bearer Certificates (Collective Investment Schemes) Regulations 2020 (2020/1346) (the "Regulations") were made on 24th November 2020 and will come into form on 1 January 2021.

The Regulations prohibit bearer certificates for all collective investment schemes in the UK.  According to the explanatory memorandum to the Regulations, the prohibition is required under international standards on anti-money laundering and tax transparency. Bearer certificates are already prohibited for most businesses in the UK and the Regulation is designed to close a technical loophole that has allowed OEICs incorporated before 26 June 2017 and unauthorised unit trusts to issue bearer certificates.

The Regulations include transitional provisions enabling the conversion and cancellation of bear shares (or units) held at the end of the day on which the Regulations come into force. The conversions and cancellations must be completed on or before 1 January 2022.

For further information, a copy of the Regulations can be found here.