Ex-dividend and record dates are only relevant to stocks which trade ‘dirty’ (accrued dividend not included in the market price). In the context of fixed income securities this means most preference shares as virtually all PIB’s and bonds trade ‘clean’.

The ex-dividend date is the date up to which you need to hold the stock in order to be entitled to receive the next dividend. If you buy a stock on or after the ex-dividend date but before the dividend payment date you will not be entitled to the dividend when it is paid.

The record date is the date the issuers of the stock use to fix the registered holders of the stock to whom they will pay the dividend. This is of little relevance to holders because it is the ex-dividend date which determines who is entitled to the dividend and the market makes claims to ensure that those are ones who end up receiving the dividend.

For stocks listed on the London Stock Exchange the ex-dividend date will usually fall on a Wednesday and the record date will usually (but not always) be 2 working days later (Friday). You can download a PDF of the London Stock Exchange Procedures from:

http://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B8hzbUJuMAkqNTRiMGUwN2EtZjg3NC00MjdmLWI0ZWMtYzk4MzI0MWJmYTZm&hl=en

The availabilty of information on ex-dividend and record dates varies enormously from issuer to issuer. LBG do not seem to announce any dates where Aviva put them all on their website.