Distributors in the Chain of Legal Ownership
Distributors that hold legal title to assets on behalf of customers and are part of the legal chain of ownership of interests in Collective Investment Schemes are financial institutions. In most cases they will be Custodial Institutions because they will be holding assets on behalf of others.
Fund nominees, fund intermediaries and fund platforms will nevertheless still be financial institutions because they would otherwise be within the definition of investment entity. In this case, the financial accounts will be those maintained by the distributor, and the distributor will be responsible for ensuring it meets its obligations in respect of those accounts.
Fund nominees, fund intermediaries and fund platforms should be treated as Custodial Institutions unless specific factors indicate that their businesses are better characterised as falling within the definition of an investment entity. Normally, the primary business of a fund nominee, fund intermediary or fund platform will be to hold Financial Assets for the account of others.
For the purpose of aggregating accounts to determine whether any pre-existing Custodial Accounts are High Value Accounts, a Custodial Institution will need to consider all the financial accounts held with them by each customer even though the underlying interests are in different Collective Investment Schemes.