I can't find anything on the internet about this.

Is it possible to hold shares wrapped in an ISA without actually having a bank or brokers account?

The reason I ask is because:

  • I am paranoid about not being able to access my funds in a time of crisis (e.g. the bank going bust). This represents a single point of failure for me in terms of risk.
  • I do not like my shares being in a centralised pool that works on an "allocation" basis, rather than shares directly owned by me
  • I want shareholder voting rights and AGM invitations.
  • I want full control.

Ideally I would hold physical share certificates in my name wrapped in an ISA.

  • 1
    It should be noted that having a broker hold shares in a nominee account still lets you vote and attend AGMs. And being realistic, in almost all cases, the company whose shares you hold is far more likely to go bust than a bank.
    – TripeHound
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 15:04
  • Thanks. If a single investment goes bust it's just one part lost in a portfolio. Hence single point of failure. If the bank goes bust you lose access to everything (at least temporarily). Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 15:20

1 Answer 1


Simple. Become an authorised person, then register yourself as an ISA manager directly.

If that is too much trouble and you could consider reining in the broker paranoia a little, some ISA providers such as HL offer certificated share dealing which covers your latter three points.

  • Though from what I've seen, you pay considerably more for handling paper certificates.
    – TripeHound
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 15:06
  • It's true, but only at the dealing stage. You only get lower dealing prices due to economies of scale with electronic processing on a nominee platform. Plus you end up paying for that on an ongoing basis with your 0.x% a year platform charge. Given what OP is requesting I think it's fair to say cost is not priority and one could argue a low frequency of dealing could mean long term lower cost anyway. Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 15:10
  • 1
    Thank you - the link to the HMRC "Application for approval as an ISA Manager" was particularly helpful. Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 15:16
  • 1
    Can the certified share dealing with HL be done within their ISA wrapper? Can't see any information on their website so assuming not. Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 15:22
  • I don't think any of the big names providing certificated share dealing services and ISAs actually offer anything combining the two. At uksa.org.uk/2015/04/… there's an assertion "it is not possible to invest through an ISA or SIPP in any other way [than nominee accounts]". Your best hope of a compromise might be a CREST personal membership, and an ISA (or SIPP, if other tax shelters are of interest) provider who's prepared to use that... that at least ensures the company you have shares in knows about you.
    – timday
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 22:30

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