A service in which a brokerage or other financial institution holds securities on behalf of the client. This reduces the risk of the client losing his/her assets or having them stolen. They are also available to the brokerage to sell at the client's demand. Like a bank, custody provides an investor a place to store assets with little risk. Unlike a bank, custodians are not allowed to use the items in safekeeping for their own ends. Assets in custody are not fungible for the brokerage because they remain on the client's name. For this reason, these institutions normally charge custodial fees for safekeeping services.

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