Company Data Download - Question Mark (?) displayed instead of £ symbol

Hi All,

When downloading Company Information as part of the Confirmation Statement we are finding an issue with the Share Class descriptions. In some instances we are seeing a question mark (?) instead of a £ symbol. Example “Ordinary ?1” instead of “Ordinary £1”. Our software provides the facility to push the correct Share Class description back to Companies House as part of the Confirmation Statement but unfortunately this is not updating the record.

If you require XML files please reach out to me.

Many thanks

Thanks for this we will take a look into it and get back to you.

HI @marie_mccarville
Can you please send me some company numbers where you found this to be a problem



A list of Company Numbers has been sent to you directly.

Many thanks

thanks our support team are looking into this and will get back to you

After looking into each of the companies you gave us, it appears that the data was sent in with ? marks instead of £ signs, we have also had in previously for one of those companies a hash. Not sure if the person submitting the data has a foreign keyboard but thats the data we received so we have imaged and stored the data as submitted. We are not able to correct that data, the companies would need to correct by filing a confirmation statement. Apologies for the delayed response, hope that helps.

Hi, apologies for the delayed response. Could I ask you to review the XML files I sent again. You should see that in the file “XXXXXX_Send_GB_UK_E_ConfStmt_0.xml” that a £ symbol is included. This is the file that is send to Companies House therefore I believe the client is submitting the correct data. Could you please re-open this query?

No problem will get an analyst to look into it for you

We believe the software package is not encoding the character correctly, it should be encoded as &pound
Hopefully that will resolve the issue, thanks

Hi, we have been reviewing this issue further and require some clarity. Could you please provide a sample of how you expect the Share Class Name to be encoded if there is a £ symbol included? Also, in the Company Data Download how do you send through this information?

Unfortunately this scenario cannot be tested against the Companies House test environment therefore we need to be confident of any changes we make to the confirmation statement as they will have a knock on impact to our Production environment.

Not a problem our support team will have a look and get back to you

Hello again Marie,

In order to properly encode £, there are two alternatives really:

1: £
2: £

Either of these should work.

I hope this clarifies.


Hi Simon, There seems to be a problem with how this is being displayed on the forum.

Many thanks

Ok Marie,

I will send you the full response via e-mail in a few moments.


As you are expecting the £ to be HTML encoded in the Confirmation Statement submission xml, is it fair to assume that other characters would also need to be HTML encoded?
Such as $ € ¥.
If so, can you provide me with a complete list of the symbols that need to be encoded. We have searched the TIS but the information does not seem to be there.

Hello PJ,

XML uses several characters in special ways as part of its markup, in particular the less-than symbol (<), the greater-than symbol (>), the double quotation mark (“), the apostrophe ('), and the ampersand (&). The XML Specification defines the following five entity references for use in any well-formed XML document:
& refers to an ampersand (&)
< refers to a less-than symbol (<)
> refers to a greater-than symbol (>)
" refers to a double-quote mark (”)
' refers to an apostrophe (')