Trusts are treated as entities by all of the agreements for automatic exchange of information.
A trust can be either a financial institution or an NFE. Where a trust meets one of the definitions of being a financial institution, it is most likely to be an investment entity and its financial accounts would usually be the equity and debt interests in the trust itself. It may, alternatively, meet the requirements for being a Custodial Institution.
For example, shares held in trust may be in a Custodial Account maintained by the trust and, therefore, subject to reporting by the trust as the Custodial Institution that maintains the account. This may be the case where a trust such as an Employee Benefit Trust continues to hold Financial Assets, such as shares, for an employee after they have been granted.
Where an Employee Benefit Trust holds shares for the future benefit of employees, but the shares are not allocated, then under most circumstances this right to a future allocation would not fall to be a Custodial Account. Similarly, when shares are allocated and the trustee is directed to transfer the assets as soon as reasonably possible to the beneficiary, a broker, a custodian, etc., then the trust will not be treated as maintaining a financial account for the duration of time it takes to complete the transfer.
Further guidance on trusts can be found at