03.04 – Custodial Account

A Custodial Account is an account (other than an Insurance Contract or Annuity Contract) for the benefit of another person that holds any financial instrument or contract held for investment.

Financial instruments/contracts that can be held in such accounts can include, but are not limited to:

  • a share or stock in a corporation
  • a note, bond, debenture, or other evidence of indebtedness
  • a currency or commodity transaction
  • a credit default swap
  • a swap based upon a non-financial index
  • a notional principal contract (in general, contracts that provide for the payment of amounts by one party to another at specified intervals. These are calculated by reference to a specified index upon a notional principal amount in exchange for specified consideration or a promise to pay similar amounts)
  • an Insurance Contract or Annuity Contract, and
  • any option or other derivative instrument for the benefit of another person.

A Cash Value Insurance Contract or an Annuity Contract is not considered to be a Custodial Account, but these could be assets held in a Custodial Account. Where they are assets in a Custodial Account, the Insurer will only need to provide the Custodian with the cash/surrender value of the Cash Value Insurance Contract.

A Custodial Account does not include financial instruments/contracts (for example, a share or stock in a corporation) held in a nominee sponsored by the issuer of its own shares, which are in every other respect analogous to those held on the issuer’s share register.


Notwithstanding the above, the Custodial Accounts definition includes all accounts that are maintained for the benefit of another, or arrangements under which an obligation exists to return cash or assets to another.

Transactions that include the collection of margin or collateral on behalf of a counterparty may fall within the definition of Custodial Account. The exact terms of the contractual arrangements will be relevant in applying this interpretation. However, if the collateral is provided on a full title transfer basis so that the collateral holder becomes the full legal and beneficial owner of the collateral during the term of the contract, this will not constitute a custodial account for FATCA purposes.