W-8ben


#1

First off I just wanted to say I had a great time at the launch party the other night so thanks to the freetrade team.

I am an android user so unfortunatley haven’t been able to use freetrade yet. I’m making this post because I’m wondering what freetrades process for W-8BEN forms for US stocks will be. I am having an absolute nightmare with it for my AJ Bell ISA. I decided I wanted to buy some Nvidia stock on Friday morning after the recent drop so transferred some money to my ISA and tried to buy only to be informed I needed to fill in a W-8BEN form. There was no interface to actually upload the damn thing so I emailed it to them and only heard back today (Monday) with this:

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They wanted me to remove my cryptographically secure digital signature and print the form, scrible some ink on it, scan it and send it back to them.

I’ve yet to hear back after sending the new form and in the mean time Nvidia is up 8% and I’m probably not going to bother now.

I think this is a perfect area for freetrade to innovate vs the incumbent stock brokers. The W-8BEN form doesn’t seem to contain any information a stock broker won’t already know about you so maybe the process can even be automated? I’d love to hear everyone elses thoughts and experiences as well.


(Georgi) #2

With Degiro this happens very easy.You just tick a box that you agree about that form and thats it.Im sure there are much easier ways , maybe just AJ Bell are too far behind in time.


(Alex Sherwood) #3

It’s great to hear that you a had a good time at the launch party, we’re planning a meet up in January too which I’m looking forward to!

I can promise that we’re going to give you a much better solution than that :grin: we’re still finalising the designs but hopefully we’ll have something to share with you here soon..


(Alex Sherwood) #4

Nice! Do they enable you to complete the form in their mobile app?


(Big Boss) #5

Citibank uses docusign which isn’t bad but takes you out of the app and into an internet browser. It’s ok and works but Freetrade could do soooo much better, keep it to a few key inputs (name, address, e-sign, etc) and keep it all within the app.


(Georgi) #6

Yes there is a window with the whole form loaded and you just sign that you declare that you are this and that.


#7

Does it need to be anything more than one big pink “My existing details are correct please autofill and submit the form” button?


(Alex Sherwood) #8

Unfortunately it’s not quite that simple, the US government has a lovely declaration that investors are required to submit. It’s a bit like the boarding pass that you have to complete when you visit.

https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-form-w-8-ben


(Arif Qazi) #9

Hi Alex,

I’d like to recommend my buddies at e-sign if you need an electronic signatory provider for W8-BEN forms. They raised on Crowdcube the same time as FT round 3, they do quite a bit of bespoke work I understand.


(Giridhar Tammana) #10

I submitted W-8ben to iweb recently, they let me buy US stocks before submitting the form.

Although they said it is possible to submit with digital signature but I couldn’t figure out how to do that.
Instead I scanned and sent which got approved in 2 hours.