Custody is, in essence, a service consisting in holding (and normally administering) securities on behalf of third parties. In step with the growth of sophisticated financial markets, custody has evolved into a complex industry no longer characterised by physical safekeeping but by a range of information and banking services. Given the multi-tier structure of the industry, custody services are provided by a variety of intermediaries. This paper describes the development of the custody industry and the structure of the custody services market. It also discusses the risks involved in custody and the challenges the industry is facing, particularly in the European context.
Custody industry securities settlement systemic risk custodian banks global custodians.