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How are my shares held by Superhero?

Superhero has been built to ensure our customers and your investments are protected via a custodian, where financial assets are held on your behalf for safekeeping. It can be difficult to understand the different acronyms some brokers often refer to and what they actually mean so we’ve explained a few of these below. If you still have questions our team is available to support you.

What is CHESS sponsorship? 

The Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS) is the computer system used by the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) to manage the settlement of trades and record share holdings. 

All trades in Australia, whether through ASX or Cboe (including those placed on Superhero) are cleared and settled via CHESS.

How does custody work? What is the difference?

A custodian is a regulated financial institution licensed to hold financial assets on your behalf for safekeeping. The responsibilities placed on a custodian are very high, and so are the regulations and requirements on those institutions. Unlike keeping your cash under the mattress, there are legal consequences for custodians that do not take the appropriate care when holding your financial assets.

Custodians must have a licence that requires them to hold significant amounts of regulatory capital before they can provide those services. The intention of holding regulatory capital is to protect investors by ensuring a custodian is shielded should it fall into financial stress.

At Superhero, we have appointed a sub-custodian to hold shares on behalf of our customers in Australia for safekeeping.

Your shares are actually held by FinClear, Superhero’s market, clearing and settlement participant. FinClear is used by many major brokers in Australia and holds all of the CHESS-sponsored shares for customers of brokers such as Stake, WeBull, Shaw and Partners and numerous other firms as at September 2023.

As a regulated entity, FinClear holds the legal title as a separate entity from Superhero (so there’s a clear separation between our operating business and your shares). This means that your shares are not in any way linked to Superhero’s financial viability because FinClear holds your shares.

Having a custodian ensures that the beneficial owner (that’s you) is the only one who can give instructions on what to do with your shares: be it buy more, sell some or transfer them to another broker. That is also true for creditors, who have no legal right to access your assets if Superhero were to no longer operate.