CREST is one of the largest, most efficient and low‑cost securities settlement systems in the world. Based in London, England, each day the CREST system settles around 800,000 transactions in over 15,000 securities in real time, with a daily value in excess of £1.2 trillion.
Approximately 45,000 personal members hold title to their securities in dematerialised (uncertificated) form. While no paper exists each member nevertheless retains full legal ownership of the securities in their CREST account.
Members of CREST include private individuals owning a portfolio of shares, trust and nominee companies holding title to securities on behalf of their clients, the investment trust and unit trust industries, and brokers and market‑makers.
To ensure the continuing accuracy of the entire CREST system, every night CREST electronically reconciles every member’s account with the register of the issuer’s securities held via the CREST system.