How Open a CDS Account

What is a CDS account?

This is a Central Depository System that allows an individual to electronically hold shares. They are unique to the shareholder.

What makes the CDS different from the physical certificate?

  • It allows immediate transfer of securities
  • It eliminates risks associated with physical certificates such as bad delivery, fake securities among others
  • Reduction in paperwork involved in transfer of securities;
  • Reduction of transaction cost
  • Enables holding investments in equity, debt instruments and Government securities in a single account
  • Automatic credit into securities account, of shares, arising out of split or a consolidation or a merger among others.


How do I open a CDS account?

  • By completing and signing a securities account opening form with your CDA. The form is called CDS 1. It can be obtained through a stockbroker, an Investment Bank or a Custodian Bank who has been authorized by CDSC to open accounts in CDS on behalf of investors.


What do I need to open a CDS account?


  • ORIGINAL National ID or passport.
  • TWO recently taken passport size photos.
  • Individual will be required to finish the CDS accounts specimen signature mandate card (the card) .You need to sign the form (CDS 1) before your Central Depository Agent (CDA).
  • Individuals can open singly or jointly.




  • ORIGINAL Certificate of registration/Valid License/ Certificate of Incorporation
  • Directors of the company need to provide ID cards and passport size photos.
  • Audited report for LAST financial year
  • Tax exemption certificate from KRA if applicable.
  • Minutes showing authorization by members to invest in securities, stating the signatories for the account, including names and identification numbers.
  • You need to sign the form (CDS 1) before your Central Depository Agent (CDA).


What do I get when I open an account?

You will obtain from your CDA a CDS account number together with a duplicate copy of the account opening form for your records.




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