What Is a Non-Bank Custodian?

What is a nonbank custodian

Custodial financial institutions serve an integral role in connecting investors or traders with their securities by safeguarding them in safe storage facilities. They form part of the registration chain linking owners with their holdings.

If you plan to invest in alternative assets within your IRA, a self-directed IRA custodian must provide custody. There are various factors to keep in mind, including fees and customer service when choosing one.

What is a custodian?

Custodians are financial institutions that secure securities owned by individuals and institutions. They are charged with safekeeping assets while adhering to IRS and government regulations on an ongoing basis, while being essential for individuals looking to invest their retirement funds in alternative assets like real estate, precious metals or cryptos that would not typically be available within traditional IRAs.

Non-bank custodians provide individual investors with safe storage for their IRA or investment account assets, with high security standards and strong credentials as a rule. A good place to begin your search would be by consulting the IRS list of qualified custodians.

Custodian banks may provide more than custody services. Their value-adding and cost-saving financial offerings may include transaction settlements, accounting services, dividend and interest payments, corporate actions support and investment management – with some also offering fund administration, transfer agency and trustee services.

Custody of securities

Custodian banks specialize in safeguarding financial assets for both individuals and institutions.1 They may hold securities electronically or physically and provide related services like managing customer accounts and transactions, settlements, reporting, compliance oversight, as well as compliance reporting services. Investment advisory firms frequently entrust custodian banks with safeguarding clients’ assets.

The IRS website publishes a list of entities approved to act as nonbank custodians or trustees for individual retirement accounts (IRA). If you intend to use self-directed IRA custodians such as Equity Trust to hold alternative investments like private notes and precious metals in an IRA account, be sure they are state chartered and regulated as retirement asset custodians.

Make sure to ask what measures have been put in place by a custodian to defend against cyber hacking and data breaches – two forms of attacks which have become increasingly frequent and could compromise the security of your retirement savings.


Custodians have the responsibility of providing clients with access to certain amounts of liquidity. If you want to invest in alternative assets like real estate, precious metals and private notes, however, then a custodian who specializes in self-directed retirement accounts (SDA) will be necessary.

Nonbank institutions regulated by the IRS include trustee and custodian firms. When selecting candidates, make sure to review their reputation with SEC and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority resources as well as state regulations. Furthermore, inquire into security measures put in place to safeguard customer data – data breaches have unfortunately become all too frequent over time.

Custodian banks provide more than safekeeping – they also provide services like account administration, transaction settlements and the collection and distribution of dividends and interest payments. In addition, custodian banks may assist in foreign exchange management or provide tax support; often employed to safeguard minor’s accounts or assets.


If you’re planning to invest in alternative investments using a self-directed IRA, make sure you find a reputable custodian. The IRS maintains a list of approved nonbank trustees/custodians for IRAs and 401(k) plans; however, please keep in mind that custodians only hold assets; they do not endorse investments; any custodian claiming otherwise are likely fraudsters.

Custodian banks are financial institutions or trust companies regulated as banks that hold the assets of customers in physical or digital form for safekeeping and management, such as transactions management and reporting for regulatory and tax reporting requirements. Custodian banks may also handle other related tasks, including customer account and transaction management and handling reporting and any regulatory/tax management concerns that arise.

Custodian banks must implement security protocols to safeguard customer information, including using cutting-edge encryption. After several high-profile hacks of consumer information, this has become ever more necessary.

Raymond Banks Administrator
Raymond Banks is a published author in the commodity world. He has written extensively about gold and silver investments, and his work has been featured in some of the most respected financial journals in the industry. Raymond\\\'s expertise in the commodities market is highly sought-after, and he regularly delivers presentations on behalf of various investment firms. He is also a regular guest on financial news programmes, where he offers his expert insights into the latest commodity trends.

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