What is a custodian bank?

Learn what a custodian bank is.


A custodian bank is a financial institution that is responsible for the safekeeping of assets, including stocks and shares. They are often known simply as ‘custodians.’

Keeping someone’s stocks safe may sound straightforward but it comes with a whole host of responsibilities.

Custodians will usually be responsible for handling all the bureaucracy that comes with buying and selling stocks. That includes any tax issues, dividend payments or foreign exchange transactions that need to be carried out.

It’s worth noting that a custodian is largely concerned with the mechanics of investing. So if you store cash with a custodian, it’s not like holding a regular bank account that would let you go to an ATM and withdraw money.

In fact, custodial services are distinct from regular banking services. Though there are banks that offer a range of services, their custodial operations will be separate from any consumer or commercial banking services, such as lending or operating bank branches.

More terms

Simple pricing plans

£0.00/mo

Accounts

GIA pink
General investment account

Benefits

  • Commission-free trades (other charges may apply. See full pricing table.)
  • Fractional US Shares
  • Access to more than 1,500 stocks, including the most popular shares and ETFs
£4.99/mo

Accounts

GIA white
General investment account
ISA
Stocks and shares ISA

Benefits
Everything in Basic, plus:

  • Full range of over 6,000 US, UK and EU stocks and ETFs
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  • Advanced stock fundamentals
  • 1% on uninvested cash, up to a maximum of £2,000
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£9.99/mo

Accounts

GIA white
General investment account
ISA
Stocks and shares ISA
SIPP white
Self-invested personal pension (SIPP)

Benefits
Everything in Standard, plus:

  • 3% on uninvested cash, up to a maximum of £4,000
  • Priority customer service
  • Freetrade Web beta

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