The wide range of shares available means you can earn regular income through dividends. You can choose to reinvest the dividends – i.e. buy more shares – or keep the payments as income.
Dividends: What you need to know

Dividends: What you need to know

The wide range of shares available means you can earn regular income through dividends. You can choose to reinvest the dividends – i.e. buy more shares – or keep the payments as income.

Dividends: What you need to know

Here we discuss what you should consider when taking income through dividends and advise on the options available to investors for doing so.

It’s important to note that returns from dividends aren’t guaranteed and you could get back less than you initially invested. You might get no dividends and the share price can fall. If a payment is available, the company will detail this on their website.

The ex-dividend date

The London Stock Exchange sets what is known as an ex-dividend date (XD date). To qualify for a dividend payment, you must hold the shares when the market opens on the XD date announced by the company. If you purchase your shares on or after the XD date, you won't be entitled to payment. Additionally, if you sell the stock before the XD date, you will not be entitled to the dividend.

For example, if the XD date for a stock is on 3 March, then to be entitled for the dividend payment you must hold the stock as of midnight on 2 March.

The payment date

This is the date in which a dividend is scheduled to be paid.

If you’re eligible for a payment, you can expect to receive this up to six working days from the scheduled payment date. This is because when we receive a company payment, we receive it in bulk and therefore need a little time to ensure the company has sent the correct amount, and then allocate it to each shareholder.

Although this reconciliation can take up to six working days to complete, please be assured we'll always work as quickly as we can to make dividend payments, bearing in mind six working days is the longest we'll ever take.

Where can I find these dates on the website?

You can find both the XD and payment date when following the directions below:

  • Login to your account
  • Click Insight from tabs towards the top of the page
  • Click Company Information
  • Enter the name of the company you wish to view dates for in the Search box, then click Search
  • Click on the company name

Within this page, there is a Company Information box. Simply click on the Dividends tab for both latest and past dates. If the company dividend date isn't available, it may not have been announced.

Payment options

The dividend payment option is chosen at the account opening stage. However, you may change your option at any time by sending a secure online instruction. Alternatively, you can contact our Client Service Team on 0800 279 6551* or 0141 352 3909*. Instructions to change your dividend payment option must be given ten working days before an XD date in order to take effect.

There are four options available to investors. To help you decide which option is best for you, please find the individual tabs below.

What is a Cash dividend?
Money paid to shareholders.

How will I receive my dividend?
Your payment will be retained in your stockbrokers account until you decide what to do with it e.g. reinvest or make a cash withdrawal.

When will I receive my dividend?
Your payment will be allocated to your stockbrokers account within six days of us receiving it from the company.

Where can I view my dividend?
You will be able to view your payment in your Account History. This tab can be found within Account View.

What is a Cash dividend?
Money paid to shareholders.

How will I receive my dividend?
Your payment will be sent to your nominated bank account, if you have one.

When will I receive my dividend?
Your payment will be sent to your nominated bank account within six days of us receiving it from the company.

Where can I view my dividend?
You will be able to view your payment within your personal bank statement.

Important information
  • We’ll need you to have a direct debit in place before we can set this up.

What is Automatic Dividend Reinvestment (ADR)?
ADR allows you to reinvest dividends into the stock they came from. It will apply to every qualifying stock in your stockbrokers account.

How will I receive my dividend?
We will automatically place a deal on the market for you.

When will I receive my dividend?
Dividends are reinvested within 10 business days of us receiving the payment from the company.

Where can I view my dividend?
You will be able to view this within your Deal History. Contract notes will also be sent for these deals, confirming that it was a result of ADR.

Important information
  • We’ll always accept Scrip dividends, when available, as a cheaper option to reinvesting
  • Commission for deals carried out under ADR is 1%, minimum £1, maximum £7.
  • Not all companies are eligible for ADR
  • Individual dividend payments of £10 or less aren't reinvested, or grouped for later reinvestment.

What is a Scrip dividend?
Scrip is where shares are offered in lieu of a cash dividend.

How will I receive my dividend?
The shares will be added to your account automatically.

When will I receive my dividend?
Shares will be allocated to your stockbrokers account within six days of us receiving them from the company.

Where can I view my dividend?
You won't be able to view this payment as there's no deal placed on the market. Instead, you will see that the quantity of your shares has increased.

Important information
  • Where a company doesn't offer Scrip, we'll accept Cash on your behalf

*0808 calls are free if made from a UK landline. Calls may be recorded so that we can monitor the quality of our service and for security purposes. If calling from outside the UK, please dial +44 141 352 3942. Calls to 0141 numbers are charged at local rate, mobile costs may vary - please check with your telecoms provider. Our opening hours are 8am to 6.30pm Monday to Thursday, 8am to 6pm on Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9.30am to 12.30pm on Saturday.

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Remember:

  • The value of your investments can fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you initially invested.
  • Investing is not for everyone, if you are unsure please seek independent advice.

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