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The evolution of a core financial service - Custodian & Depositary Banks

An outlook on the current and future status of the industry

Spending on technological and organizational changes remains a substantial factor in the Financial Services Industry (FSI) in general. This also applies to a particular subset of FSI actors: custodians and depositaries.

By definition, custodians are responsible for the safekeeping of their clients’ assets, as well as the processing of transactions. Although they are limited to fund clients, depositaries’ duties go further than this, as they also perform some oversight duties and are liable for any losses. Today, both are often grouped together as the same entity, along with other functions, and only represent part of the capabilities of global asset servicers. On top of this, their service offering is constantly evolving, and services such as tax reclaims that were considered high value added several years ago are merely a commodity today.

Even though custodians and depositaries perform key functions as part of the investment management value chain, reality shows that many custodians and depositaries are trailing behind other actors in the FSI when it comes to technological innovation.

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